877 | To Thomas Hutchinson

    No. 52

    No 51 was not copied being quite private.

    Hampstead, Dec 22. 1770

    Dear Sir,

    The Account of Captn Preston’s Acquittal gave great Pleasure here: it was thought of consequence enough to make an Article in the Gazette.1 But this added to the other Accounts of the Peoples coming to rights will all contribute to defeat the Purpose of reforming your Government. Tho the Propriety of the intended Measure & Seasonableness of the present Time to carry it into Execution appears in as strong a light as ever to the Minister. But the great Probability of the Government’s coming to rights of its own accord & the general Propensity of avoiding all Trouble which can be spared, would make the rest of the Administration very cool or rather averse to entering into a fresh Dispute in Parliament about your People, who have by their late Moderation given the Opposition great Advantage in a Contest upon this Subject. So that I think the Business is over for the present, & the Bill, which was prepared, will be laid by, till the Boston Faction revive it again; which I suppose will not be long.

    We are still in Suspense between War & Peace; tho nothing is left undone to prepare for War. I have heretofore thought Peace most probable; but within these few days, I have thought the Odds were on the Side of War. If this takes Place it will afford alone a sufficient Reason for not carrying into Execution the Bill designed to reform your Government.

    I had a Conversation with Lord H & Mr Pownall upon the Proceedings of the Council against Mr Oliver. It was thought that the Commission of Lt Governor would be a sufficient Vindication of him from that Abuse. But there is also a Letter sent to you to be used for that Purpose. I will get a duplicate of it to accompany this.2

    As I have now got a Provision equal to my Wishes & which will leave me Master of my own time, I shall go into Lincolnshire next Spring & there prepare for enclosing the Town of Nettleham; a Scheme which will be very beneficial to the Landholders, & which I am desired by the generality of them to put myself at the Head of. But my time in this House will not be out till the Beginning of May. I am waiting to hear of Lady Bernard’s Arrival every day. Mr Oliver writes me that the Tweed was not arrived at Boston on the 19th of Novr: it is very unaccountable.

    I am, &c.

    His Excellcy Govr Hutchinson

    L, LbC      BP, 8: 153–154.