843 | To Thomas Hutchinson

    No 28.

    Pall Mall, Apr. 28. 1770.

    Dear Sir

    I wrote to you yesterday a short Letter to go by the Packet Boat, which is sent directly to Boston.1 I had very short Notice of its going & could write no more. And indeed now I am a little more at Leisure I can say nothing certain. The Consideration of the Boston Business is referred to Wednesday next;2 something must be done, tho it is not easy to say what. The Opposition who pretend ^affect^ to resent the Indignity put upon Great Britain call upon the Ministry to act with Spirit and upon a System or to resign their Offices as unequal to them. It is put out of all Doubt that the attacking the Soldiers was preconcerted in Order to oblige them to fire and then make it necessary to quit the Town, in Consequence of their doing what they were forced to do. It is considered by thinking Men wholly as a Manœuvre to support the Cause of Non-Importation. L B was the only Man in the House who approved of the Soldiers retiring to the Castle. He said that where there was no Magistracy there should be no Soldiers; & if they intended to have Soldiers sent there again, they should provide for a Magistracy, which could not be done but by appointing a royal Council instead of the present democratical one. It is generally expected that General Gage will, without waiting for Orders, send a Reinforcement to Boston & order the whole into the Town. Everyone, without Exception, sayes it must be immediately done; those in Opposition are as loud as any; Lord Sh3— told a Gentleman who reported it to me, that it was now high time for Great Britain to act with Spirit. It is expected there will be a Parliamentary Enquiry into the Causes & Authors of the Disturbances at Boston for some time past & that the Subject will be thoro’ly canvassed. As this will not be easily reconcileable to the common Forms of Parliament, it is expected that it will be done by a Commission strengthened by an Act of Parliament & supported by proper Powers. Upon the whole this is considered as an happy Event which will be productive of good Consequences which will abundantly make Amends for the Mischeif which has been done: so that the Machinations of the Faction are like to fall upon their own heads.4

    The lying Legend of the Boston Gazette which was not beleived while it remained uncontradicted, is now thoroughly exposed by subsequent Publications; & the Practices of the Faction to fling an Odium on the Custom-house by suborning an ignorant boy to swear to Facts which were easily proved to be impossible, are laid open to the World.5 People differ much in their Opinion about withdrawing the Troops; but in general they acquit you; as all who consider the Situation of the Troops dispersed over the Town in6 separate defenceless Barracks do the commanding Officer.7 But they who don’t enter into the Difficulties the Troops laboured under can’t reconcile themselves to 600 Regular Troops giving Way to 2 or 3000 Common People, who they say would not have dared to attack them if they had stood their Ground: they treat it as a successful Bully; & it may be so; but surely the Event was not quite certain. However if it is a Disgrace it may be easily retrieved & it certainly will.

    I was very desirous of getting your Commission so as to have sent it by this Ship; but it was impossible. However I have the pleasure to tell you that it has passed the King’s Signature. Mr Olivers accompanys it: I intended to have wrote to him, but have not time.

    I am &c.

    The Honble Govr Hutchinson

    L, LbC      BP, 8: 88–90.