News of Bernard’s Reception in England

    458. To Sir Francis Bernard, 15 November [1769]

    459. From Sir Francis Bernard, 16 November 1769

    460. To Sir Francis Bernard, 17 November [1769]

    461. To John Pownall, 17 November 1769

    462. From Sir Francis Bernard, 17 November 1769

    463. From Sir Francis Bernard, 17 November 1769

    464. From Sir Francis Bernard, 17 November 1769

    Both the ministry and the House of Commons regarded Francis Bernard’s tenure as governor in quite a different light than did the citizens of Massachusetts. Generally reviled in Massachusetts after the publication of his letters to Lord Hillsborough, Bernard lost all effective influence there. Both a remonstrance from the town of Boston and a petition for his removal from the General Court sailed with him. Although it would be 7 March 1770 before the privy council finally dismissed all claims against him, the general perception in England was that his conduct deserved commendation rather than criticism, and he soon became a principal adviser to the ministry on American affairs.

    458. To Sir Francis Bernard

    Novemb. 15 [1769]

    No 17

    My Dear Sir, The Secretary has just now sent me your Letter by Bruce.1 The news of your safe arrival gives me great pleasure. I knew you must be very favourably received. I have already done what you desire me to do constantly advised you of every occurrence & I shall continue to do it by every opportunity. I am with the most sincere esteem Sir Your most faithful humble servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:406); unaddressed but this numbered letter falls within the sequence of TH’s letters to Bernard; partially dated.

    459. From Sir Francis Bernard

    Pall Mall Nov 16. 1769

    No 6

    Dear Sir, I have received your Letters of August 26th & of Octr. 4, 5, 6 by Mr Harrison who came to me two days ago, & I have seen him every day since. The Question from America is, what will the Parliament do: to this no positive Answer can possibly be given with any certainty at present. The Opinion of particulars may be picked out: but I beleive there has been no Question put upon this Subject in any Council as yet. I find the Ministers I have conversed with, very well disposed to America in general, but by no means inclined to make Concessions which may be made the Foundation of new Demands. And therefore tho I have no Doubt but that the Duties on Paper, Glass & painters Colours will be repealed, I am as fully persuaded that that upon Tea will not. As the Regulation upon Tea must be considered rather as a Bounty of 9d than a Duty of 3d, Americans insisting upon an Alteration of this Regulation must be understood in one of these two Lights: either to gain a Triumph over the Parliament by refusing a Bounty because it is accompanied with a Duty & to oblige them to give a Testimony against their own Powers by repealing a Law beneficial to America upon a Question of right only; or by preventing the low Price of Tea, which by this Bounty has been intended, to favour the Importation of foreign Tea, which can be rendered beneficial to Smugglers only by keeping up the Price of British Tea.1

    This is so well understood, that I much doubt whether the repealing the Duty of Tea will be moved at all in the House of Commons; if it is, I dare say it will not succeed. As to repealing other American Duties, I never hear it mentioned, nor do I believe it is thought of. The Writers at Boston have fully warned People against Concessions as tending only to increase Demands. The Repeal I before mentioned to be likely to take Place would have been defeated by the Proceedings of our Assembly if it had not been observed that the Assurance of an Intention of such a Repeal (not a promise) had been made to the whole Continent & therefore could not be discharged by the MisBehaviour of a small Part of it.2 But I am well persuaded that if upon this intended Indulgence taking place, the Combination against British Goods should be continued, vig’rous Measures to suppress them will be taken; for which Purpose the present Laws are more forcible than, it seems, the American Combiners have an Idea of.

    This Day a Gentleman, a Member of Parliament, and in a principal Office, who is more conversant with Persons of different Parties than any one I know said in the presence of another Gentleman then also visiting me, that the Opposition would attack the Ministry at next Session, upon British Matters only & not upon those of America.3 And gave for the Reason, that upon the former they could agree upon one uniform System, but upon the latter it was impossible for them to converse without breaking into Divisions. And indeed when one considers of whom the Opposition is composed, it is impossible that they should join together in any one System for America, without departing from their Professions to too great a Length to admit of any Decent Covering.4 This Gentleman concluded that the Ministry might do in American Affairs, within the Bounds of Prudence and Discretion, as they pleased, without any Danger of an effectual Controll.

    I can’t condemn the Proceedings of your Sons nor of my own: perhaps yours have gone full as far as they ought and mine too far.5 The Expediency of preventing your having any Disputes in which your Children should be principals is obvious. I hope that effectual Measures to prevent such violent and arbitrary Proceedings for the future will soon be taken. I am &c.,

    SC (Houghton Library, Sparks 4, 8:17–20); at foot of letter, “Lieut Govr Hutchinson”; in an unknown hand.

    460. To Sir Francis Bernard

    17 Nov. [1769]

    No 18

    My Dear Sir, Having wrote on the 14 by Davies I have nothing to add except that our sons of Liberty do not like the news they have from Engd. by Bruce.1 I hope they will have no better but will be more & more discouraged & finally reduced to there former & proper conditions and employments & become good subjects. I was at Roxbury this morning to wait on Lady Bernard. She desired me to acquaint you that she shall write you as soon as she is settled in the house where she intends to remove which she thinks will be some time next week. I am with great respect Sir Your most faithful humble Servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26: 407); unaddressed but this numbered letter falls within the sequence of TH’s letters to Bernard; partially dated; marked, “Smith” for ship transport.

    461. To John Pownall

    Boston 17. Nov. 1769.

    Sir, The intelligence received from England, of the general disapprobation of the Resolves, Messages &c. of the Assembly in their last Session and of the doings of the Merchants to prevent the importation of English goods, is very unwelcome to the promoters of those measures, but I hope will have a good effect. If it had not been for the encouragement which the leaders of the party, here, have met with, from their correspondents in England and the writers who have espoused the cause there, they would never have gone the lengths they have done and I flatter my self that, when any support or countenance from thence is wholly despaired of, they will give up the cause or lose their influence.

    The body of the people, I am sure, are convinced that they cannot subsist without the protection of Great Britain. They have no other claim to this protection than as they are part of the same dominion or government and yet they have imbibed principles which make them a distinct independant government. They will sooner or later, see the absurdity of such principles & be again sensible, as they generally were before the year 1765, that they enjoy the blessing of as mild and good a government as any people upon the globe.

    Some of the Council own to me that the confederacy of the Merchants and the proceedings of the Town of Boston are unwarrantable. If I could bring a majority to be of the same mind I would make an attempt to suppress them. I despair of doing it and know no power but that of Parliament which can effect it. I shall send under this cover a Newspaper which contains the last proceedings of the Merchants which they have not, until now, thought fit to publish.1 If you think it deserves My Lord Hillsborough’s attention you will be pleased to communicate it to him.

    I am assured that the scurrilities in the News papers have rather confirmed, if not increased the number of my friends in the country and several good men who declined giving attendance at the last Session of the General Court, despairing of doing any service, encourage me they will attend the next Session in hopes of moderating & restraining if nothing more.

    We are at present in a more calm state than we have been for some time. I have the honour to be Sir Your most obedient humble Servant,

    Tho Hutchinson

    RC (National Archives UK, CO 5/758, ff. 213–14); at foot of letter, “Mr. Secretary Pownall”; docketed, “Boston 17th. Novr. 1769. Lieut. Govr. Hutchinson JP. Rx 22d. Decr.” AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:406); at head of letter, “J Pownall Esq”; marked, “Smith” for ship transport. SC (National Archives UK, CO 5/768, ff. 49–51); in an unknown hand; docketed, “Boston November 17th. 1769 Lieutenant Governor Hutchinson J:P: Rx 22. Decr.” SC (Houghton Library, Sparks 43, 1:114); at head of letter, “Secretary Pownall”; in an unknown hand. Enclosure to RC: Massachusetts Gazette Extraordinary, 17 November 1769, p. 1.

    462. From Sir Francis Bernard

    Pall Mall Nov 17. 1769.

    No. 7—Private

    Dear Sir, I shall have frequent Occasions to distinguish my Letters to you as above, and at such times must write a communicable Letter to cover the private.

    I make the best Use I can of communicating your Letters; with Lord H I have scarce any Secrets; to others in the Ministry I consider what is proper for Communication; to Americans I have no Occasion to communicate any thing at all. The Hint that you gave me of the Land Bank Act is like to be very serviceable.1 It seems that it was founded upon another Act which was made about 1718, which was extended to America in 1741;2 and it is now doubted whether these Acts are not now in Force in America & do not comprehend the present Combination: at least they will make a Precedent. I have not as yet seen these Acts; but shall see them to day.

    I think it was better that you did not call the Council; they would have done no Good & might have done Harm. My Lord H said yesterday that he thought it would be best for you to act with Firmness & Resolution. I said that if the Government here would set the Example, I dared say that you would follow it: but without some such Encouragement it would be difficult.

    I have seen Dr F several times but have not had a Word with him about America.3 His Principle seems to be to have no fixed Principles at all. If he had any fixed Plan The Americans would soon advance beyond it; & he could not keep up consistently with his Party. It therefore seems to be his Intention to avoid all Declarations which may set Bounds to the American Pretensions; and that he may be at Liberty to go as far as his Constituents shall please. You will be able to judge how far the Pensilvanians mean to go, by their being satisfied or not by the Repeal as intended. I should have continued this Letter farther, but I am now sent for to attend my Lord North, to whom I was before engaged. If the Ship stays till tomorrow I may probably add a few more Lines. I am &c.,

    SC (Houghton Library, Sparks 4, 8:20–21); marked, “private”; at head of letter, “Lieut Govr Hutchinson”; in an unknown hand.

    463. From Sir Francis Bernard

    Pall Mall Nov 17. 1769.

    Dear Sir, I was obliged to finish a Letter to you very abruptly today,1 as my Time was out when I had an Appointment at the Treasury; & I was desirous to send what Letters I had by the Ship which was appointed to sail to day. But I have been since informed that I have till tomorrow past Noon to add what I have Occasion to my Packet which I have allready sent to the Bag.

    Whilst I was at the Board of Trade Mr Pollock brought me the Letters inclosed in your Packet, among which I have yours of Sept. 20th. I have allready wrote to you my Thoughts upon Sir H Moores Death: there is no Temptation in that Government to induce me to wish for it; of which I have allready sufficiently explained myself.2 There is not the least Probability of Mr Franklin’s being removed to the Government; if it was so my Fondness for New Jersey would engage me to ask it with a little Assistance, to eke out the scanty Income, from the Treasury; which for me would not be difficult to obtain.3 There is no other Government on the Continent which I can think of with Pleasure: possibly when the Disputes with Great Britain are settled I may think more favorably of that Kind of Advancement. At present I want to lye by without Loss, till America is become quiet.

    I shall be glad to do the Settlers near the New York Line any Service in my Power.4 At present there is such an Arrears of Business that there is no urging an original Matter. I shall watch an Opportunity to thrust it into the Business of New York, if I can find a good Opening. The Order for proroguing your Assembly till March I had no Knowledge of till after it was made.5 It was a meer Official Act passed only upon the Consideration of the Propriety of your receiving the Sentiments of his Majesty upon the Proceedings of the last Session of the Assembly before you met them again. Probably you will receive Instructions in this Matter by the next Mail: at least I will endeavour that you shall.

    Your Idea of the Empire of Commerce is very just & such as I believe never entered into the Head of the late Writer upon that Subject. But as it necessarily produces that Monster in Politicks Imperium in imperio, this Commercial Empire must be made subordinate, or there is an End of the civil Empire.6

    I will certainly take Care to introduce the Subject of the Advocate & Attorney general by the first Opportunity, & will urge the Necessity of their being supported from hence. The Appointment of Mr Fitch I will not neglect.7 I will see Sr Edward Hawke & Mr Stephens upon the Occasion and observe such Form in the Application as the latter shall advise.8 I will not forget the Gentleman whom you recommend as Attorney General.9 I don’t see how you could possibly appoint or recommend the Person proposed to you under the present Notoriety of his Connections.10 I was asked by one of the Ministry to day who that John Adams was: I gave as favourable an Answer as I could, but not such as would have justified the Appointment of him to an Office of Trust. I am &c.,

    SC (Houghton Library, Sparks 4, 8:21–23); at foot of letter, “Honble Lieut Govr Hutchinson”; in an unknown hand.

    464. From Sir Francis Bernard

    Pall Mall Novr 17 1769

    No. 9—Private

    Dear Sir, The Caution you have had given you about your Correspondence in England, if it is not founded in Party, must refer to the Use that has been made of Official Letters heretofore, and particularly from mine, & the Inconvenience that has arisen to the Writers from their Publication.1 In this you who are a much prudenter Man than I ever pretended to be, will take Care of yourself. The Publication of State Letters in this Way will certainly destroy the Correspondence between the Seat of Government & its distant Offices.2 This has been frequently protested against by Persons of the first Understanding: Lord Mansfield, in a Conference I had with him, gave his Testimony against it in strong Terms. And it is my Opinion that Lord Mansfield is as much to be esteemed as a Wise Man as he is as an able Lawyer.

    But if a free Correspondence between the distant Officers and the several Ministers of State is to receive that Interruption which, I think the late Publications will make unavoidable, Something must be substituted in its Stead: and I know of Nothing that can be adequate, but the Officers making Use of his Confidential Correspondence with a Friend who will communicate his Ideas to the Minister & at the same time preserve the Officer from being exposed by a Publication of the Person of the original Communicator. I own that this is not the Right Intercourse between Government and the distant Offices: but it is all they have left, since they have vested the House of Commons with the Functions of the privy Council.

    In this Light I see a Necessity for a Governor to have a Correspondent who has the Confidence of the Minister, if such a one can be obtained which is not allways the Case. Seeing myself in that Light, I should rather desire to derive my Authority from your Confidence in me than from my nominal Office in the Government: Since I can conceive a Time when a Lieut. Governor would not have chose his principal for a confident.3 All therefore, that I can inform you of the Use I think proper to make of your Letters is to communicate such Parts thereof to such Persons as I think will make good Use of them, at the same time taking good Care that they shall never be converted to such a public Use as mine have been.

    I have allready wrote to you about the Succession to my Government: I again repeat that whenever it becomes likely to be vacated I will be watchful over the Intrest which you have & I think ought to have in it. Mr Pownall thinks with me on your Behalf; and Mr Jackson who is lately arrived from Italy, will give all the Assistance in his Power:4 and it will be of no little Aid to assure Lord H of the Intentions of the former Ministry in your favour, which were by his Consent, as I understand, signified to you.5 Whenever your Commission is determined it is my Intention to urge Mr Olivers Merit in general & Services & Sufferings in particular to succeed you upon the best Terms that can be had.6 But this Business at present does not require Hurry. I am &c.,

    SC (Houghton Library, Sparks 4, 8:24–25); marked “private”; unaddressed but this numbered letter falls within the sequence of TH’s letters with Bernard; in an unknown hand.

    465. To Sir Francis Bernard

    Nov. 20. 1769

    No 19

    Dear Sir, Molineux upon clearing out a Vessel last week gave notice both to the Collector & N Office that if they required more fees than what were stated by the Province Law he would certainly prosecute both of them.1 They demanded & received customary fees notwithstanding. It is supposed Actions will be commenc’d at the next court & I am informed will be carried on at the joint charge of the Merchants who are confederates against importation or such of them as are concerned in shipping. Something more is wanting than has been yet done to ascertain the fees of those Offices. The Province Law has stated the fees for many services. I do not know of any Act of Parlt. which repeals or supersedes it. But then there are many services for which the Province Law makes no provision. For these the Officers will be at the mercy of a Jury where they will not have great favour shewn them. I have no doubt the Actions will go on & think it necessary to give you the earliest notice & pray you to acquaint Mr Harrison & Mr Hallowell with it. I am with great sincerity Sir Your faithful humble Servant,

    AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/series 45X, 26:407); unaddressed but this numbered letter falls within the sequence of TH’s letters to Bernard; marked, “Smith” for ship transport.