868 | To Thomas Hutchinson

    Hampstead, Nov 6th. 1770

    No 46

    Dear Sir,

    I received your Packet this day; & as a Mail is to be dispatched tomorrow & no Ship for Boston is in readiness, I won’t omit acknowledging the Receipt of your Letters; tho’ I cant enter into any particulars of them at present, as I have only part of the Close of a tiresome day to write what I shall send by the Packet.

    I am sorry for the Publication of Mr Olivers Narrative; tho I had no other hand in it than not guarding against that Use being made of it, after I had suffered it to be put among the Informations received from Boston, among which it was read at the Council Board. I think you sent a duplicate to Ld H: but it was not material as I certainly communicated my Copy to Lord H & could not avoid it.1

    Don’t be apprehensive of the resentment of any of the Council upon this Occasion: when they find they are like to have a lasting Connection with you, they will be in good humour. For I am much mistaken if any one of them and especially the Gentleman whose Declaration being made public gives the greatest Offence, will be sorry to find himself not subject to the Precariousness of an annual Election for the future.2 They seem to have worked out their own Salvation, & it should be done with fear & trembling.

    I am very glad their Conduct of late has been such as will in some measure retrieve their former Proceedings. I am a strong Advocate for making the Alteration of the Council by strengthening the Establishment & not changing the Men. It is true there are some among them that have little Pretension to the Kings favor; but I am not for making Distinctions at this time. I am not afraid of a Mans making a worse royal Councellor, for having swam with the popular Stream when he could not stem it.

    I am got into diffuse writing without intending it. I have only to add that I will write to you fully by the first Opportunity & then shall be able to tell you what is doing in Parliament as it is to meet this day sevn night. I will say at present that what is intended to be done with your Government is of the gentlest kind and will tend to confirm the Charter instead of destroying it, by giving an Emendation now necessary to its being.

    I am &c.

    His Excellcy Govr Hutchinson

    P.S. The Commissions stand still for the Arrival of Lord Privy Seal who is expected in town every day.

    John may come to England in pursuance of Engagements entered into before he knew his Appointment without any Danger.

    P.S. To No. 46.

    P.S. Nov 133

    Since the date of the foregoing I have enquired into & recollected the occasion of the publication of Mr Olivers narrative & I find that I have more to answer for than I at first imagined. A Gentleman having expressed a desire to refute the Boston Narrative; a friend of yours & of mine, & of Mr Olivers also, applied to me to get him a sight of the informations which had been received. I procured them & gave them in a bundle unopened. I afterwards found it was too late, that instead of the substance which might have been used properly & without hurt, Mr Olivers Declaration was printed verbatim. I condemned myself then as I do now for my inadvertence in not guarding against this. But these particulars had slipt my memory when I first received your Letter.

    I am sorry for the trouble this is like to give, as this want of caution is less excusable in me, who have suffered so much in this way myself, than in another. But I cannot think it can be lasting or of consequence. The truth of the information cannot be doubted: I myself can see the Gentleman speaking the words which gave the offence. And shall these Gentlemen who by the by have themselves destroyed the confidentialy4 of the Council drive you into a measure full of danger, & not suffer the Secretary to minute the arguments made use of to oblige you to a submission, & afterwards complain that you had the caution, & the Secretary the honesty to ascertain & authenticate a true state of the force which was put upon you, instead of the false account of it which was dictated to him in Council? The whole proceeding is like the Party whom they were supporting at that time, deceitfull & insiduous: and you need not give them any other answer, than that what you did was just & necessary to your own justification; & that the publication being contrary to your intention & desire, you are not answerable for it.

    L, LbC      BP, 8: 137–138 and 144–145.