852 | To Thomas Hutchinson

    No 36.

    Hampstead, July 25.th 1770

    Dear Sir,

    I have received your Letters No 21, 22 & 231 & the duplicates of the two former. By your Account of the Motives on which you conducted your Negative you seem to be quite justified. And if you doubted yourself of the sparing Use of your Negative it will be warranted by the Advice you took upon it. I am pleased with their having added some moderate Men to the Council: for if a royal Council is appointed, it would be best that as many of the elected Councellors should be inserted in it, as the Restoration of the exploded2 Councellors will allow.3

    As for the Trials of Captn Preston &c you have received all the Instruction you are like to have, that is that you respite them and report the Case to the King.4 But for God’s Sake take Care that they be not murdered by the People: one does not know how far a Resentment of Such an Act of Violence both as to Commission & Permission may be carried. If they are found guilty by all means move them to the Castle by habeas Corpus; you may defer Sentence by a Motion in Arrest of Judgement upon any Pretensions, no matter what, to gain time. But for your own Sake let the Respite immediately follow the Sentence & a Removal to the Castle follow the respite, if it canno’t precede it which would be better.

    The Commission was very near finished when it was put by. I suppose that what I & Mr Pownall have now received from you will Occasion it to go on; as my Lord Hillsborough has never shewn a Desire to appoint any other Person; and, without flattery, he cannot now make another Appointment so proper to answer his present Purposes. Lord H goes to Ireland next Week and it may prevent the Commission being passed till his Return; but I think it wont. I shall see him tomorrow where I will learn what can be done, & also will speak with him about Fort Hill & Genl Gages Information. He has been out of Town ever since I received your Letters, was expected to return last Night.5

    Surely your People are the worst Politicians in the World: they play into their Antagonists Hands as if they intended it. If there is any Doubt of the Charter being forfeited heretofore, there can be none now. For surely if a legislative Corporation can forfeit a Charter they must do it by refusing to do any Acts of Legislation unless they are allowed to exercise those rights which are expressly reserved by the Terms of Charter to the Crown. And the Futility of their Pretensions is sufficiently exposed by your Writings. I hope that you have both of you persevered:6 for tho the Question of the Forfeiture will not be tried in a Court of Justice yet the shewing of a fresh Act of Forfeiture in the house of the commons, the Consequence of which is a total Stop of the Activity of the legislative Powers will have great Weight to show the Necessity of a Parliamentary Reformation of the Constitution: which is the thing intended.

    I shall add another Letter tomorrow7 if there is any Occasion for it; at present I shall conclude this by assuring you that I am with great Truth

    Sir, &c.

    The Honble Govr Hutchinson

    L, LbC      BP, 8: 109–111.