845 | To Thomas Hutchinson

    No 29.

    Hampstead, May 13, 1770

    Dear Sir,

    I have received the duplicate of your Letter wherein you decline the Government of your Province (the original not being come to hand)1 & immediately communicated the same to Lord H & afterwards to Lord N. The former is much embarrast with this embarrast with this Motion of yours, as your Patent is so far past, as to make it an uncommon Case to put a Stop to it: but it is suspended for the present and will remain so untill LH has received an Answer to his Letter signifying to you the Resolution to appoint you.2 Therefore you are not like to be soon relieved; & how far you are in a better Situation as Lieut Govr than as Governor in Cheif you are the best Judge. I wish that you had had Resolution enough to have waited for your Appointment in Cheif, tho you had been sure to have been degraded to a Rhode Island Governor. I feel for you most heartily, & can assure you that Administration is quite Satisfied with the Part you acted on the 6th of March, tho it has been censured in the Newspapers in a way that does not deserve an Answer[.]3 I will use my utmost Endeavours to prevent this Act of Irresolution from being Ill understood, & also to get such an Appointment to the Cheif Justiceship as shall make it comfortable to you. I have allready said to the two Lords before mentioned that there will be much greater Difficulty in finding a fit Successor to you as C. J. than to me as Governor. But the Misfortune is that Things are not ripe for the Appointment of a new Governor, who if adequate to the Business ought to be vested with new Powers & supported with a new Establishment. As for sending a common Adventurer there to fight under the present Disadvantages it wont be thought of. This leads me just to touch upon the present political State so far as relates to your Subject.

    The Ministry have had a severe Campaign, & tho they have gone on in all common & unavoidable Business with a large Majority they have long ago shewn no ^their^ Intention to bring no Disputes in the House which could be avoided. For this Purpose they have declined entering upon any American Business that could be avoided. And tho the Advices from Boston of the late Disturbances seemed to make the Interposition of Parliament quite necessary, yet it was decl[in?]ed4 by the Ministry on Account of the lateness of the Session, which would not allow time for determining the Facts necessary to form Resolutions properly; which was true enough. When the Opposition proposed an Enquiry into the Causes of the disturbances at Boston, they were answered that His Majesty would give Orders for it.5 When some of the Opposition called upon the Ministry to propose a Plan for the Correction of the Americans, especially the Bostoners, assuring them that they would heartily join in it (in which I beleive they were sincere) the Ministry declined it; and thro’ the whole showed that they thought it better that the Parliament should interpose in this Business at the beginning of the next Session than at the tail of this. Therefore on the day appointed for taking into Consideration the Affair at Boston, the Ministry stood wholly upon the defensive; &, tho baited with Words pretty fully, counted 197 to 79.6 This continual Procrastination is very discouraging, but at present, it is no more promising to the Faction at Boston than to the Friends of Government; as it [is] certain that preparatory Steps will be taken in the mean Time, & most of the Cheifs of the Opposition declar’d, some in high terms, against the Proceedings of the Town of Boston, whose Publications & Letters have done them much more harm than good. To illustrate the foregoing, I shall inclose a Minute of the Debates in the House of Commons taken by FW who is a very good Parlit reporter.7

    The Parliament is to rise next thursday. I shall set out tomorrow for Lincoln & shall be absent a fortnight. I shall have your Letters sent to me if they come within that time. I write from a House 3 Miles from London which I have taken for a year. Give my Complts to all my Friends & excuse me to them to whom I owe Letters. I neglect no Business but cannot be punctual in Writing.

    I am &c.

    The Honble Govr Hutchinson

    L, LbC      BP, 8: 93–95.