Awaiting News from England

    1243. To Samuel Hood, 13 March 1774

    1244. To the Directors of the East India Company, 19 March 1774

    1245. To Lord Dartmouth, 21 March 1774

    1246. To William Tryon, 21 March 1774

    1247. To William Palmer, 22 March 1774

    1248. To Lord Dartmouth, 29 March 1774

    1249. To Jonathan Clarke, 30 March 1774

    1250. To Lord Dartmouth, 30 March 1774

    1251. To Israel Mauduit, 31 March 1774

    Although Lord Dartmouth’s letters of 9 March outlined what the ministry’s response to the Boston Tea Party would be, Hutchinson would not receive that information for another month and a half. In the meantime, Hutchinson grew increasingly anxious to leave the deteriorating political situation in Massachusetts and act on his permission to go to England. But that could not happen before the appointment of a new lieutenant governor, and Hutchinson displayed considerable indecision about who that should be. Also, rumors of plans for a new continental congress reached him, and he was fearful that political demands from such a group would make any reconciliation between the colonies and Great Britain nearly impossible.

    1243. To Samuel Hood

    Boston 13th. March 1774

    Dear Sir, By one of our Merchant Vessels, Capt. Hood which left London in November I received a very obliging letter from you and finding it dated late in October, not observing the year, I expected some late intelligence. In travelling through it I was much puzzled and perplexed until I recurred to the date and found what I supposed 73 to be 72.1 Where it has lain all this while I can’t conceive. The seal and all other parts were free from marks of violation. I have the satisfaction of discovering by it that you have not been unmindfull of me and you will find from this Account that there has not been that neglect on my part which otherwise you might have charged me with.

    I have gone through very troublesome scenes since the date of your letter some of which you will have been acquainted with from your own News papers, I have the satisfaction of being assured that my conduct has been approved by my Sovereign. I wished for the approbation of my Country also but in the present state of this province they are not compatible. Tired with abuse, I had obtained leave to go to England and should have embarked by this time if the Lieutenant Governor had not declined in his health which kept me in suspence until the 3d Instant when he died which put an end to my voyage, at least until a Succession be appointed, for I should be affraid of the King’s displeasure unless my Orders had been peremptory. This is a great disappointment. I wish I may be at liberty before Admiral Montagu goes home that I might have the pleasure of just making a bow to you at Catherington and taking a short view of your situation which I remember Mrs. Hood & you used to wish to return to.2 I am with sincere Regard & Esteem,

    AC (British Library, Eg. 2661, ff. 15–16); at end of letter, “Saml. Hood Esq &ca”; in TH Jr.’s hand.

    1244. To the Directors of the East India Company

    Boston March 19. 1774


    Gentlemen, Your letter dated the 8. of January I received the 17th. Instant1 & without delay delivered the inclosed letter to the Consignees of the Teas shipped to this province and the two letters for Halifax will go by his Majesty’s Sloop Kingfisher which waits for a fair wind.

    Three of the Consignees Messrs. Clark and Mr: Faneuil still continue their lodgings at the Castle, my eldest son with his family have been for some time past under my roof in the Country, my other son with his Family at 40 miles distance from the Town & Mr: Winslow also with his friends at a distance in the Country and not one of them dare to appear in Town though their business suffers greatly.2 We are expecting to hear how the late extravagances were resented in England and we hope their deliverance is near, and I agree with them that, as what Teas were saved from the fury of the people are in a place of safety, it is most adviseable to delay the execution of your Orders for some time, as there does not seem to be any probability of advantage from shipping the Teas immediately, and doing it will cause new tumults, seeing the Officers of the Customs will not grant a permit or clearance until the duty, which is the alledged greivance, be paid. The Consignees likewise inform me that the advice which you must soon after the date of your letter have received from them will undoubtedly cause such answer from you as to make it more plain to them how to proceed than it is at present. This letter accompanies my publick Letters by the packet from New York. You will undoubtedly hear from them by Vessels direct from hence. I have the honour to be Gentlemen &ca,

    AC (British Library, Eg. 2661, f. 18); at foot of letter, “The Hon. Directors of the East India Company”; in TH Jr.’s hand.

    1245. To Lord Dartmouth

    Boston 21st. March 1774

    No: 44


    My Lord, Your Lordship’s letter No: 14 I received the 17th: Instant.1 I am happy in having conformed to the Rules your Lordship prescribes, & upon the principles your Lordship has laid down, with respect to the use of the military power. I have had no doubt that, in the late outrages, the Civil Magistrate might have been justified if, after failure of every other Effort, a Requisition had been made of Aid from the military, but I have not one Magistrate in the province who would venture upon such a measure; and I have not been satisfied that there have yet been any such rebellious Insurrections as would have justified the Representative of the King in bringing forward the Military power in order to suppress them. I know that these are tender points and know the hazard to which, by the English Constitution, the Civil Magistrate is peculiarly exposed whensoever he calls to his aid a military force.

    I suspend even any conjectures upon measures respecting the Colonies until I am informed, by your Lordship, how their conduct touching the East India Company’s Teas was resented in England. I hope I shall need no other Apology to your Lordship for omitting any particular remarks upon this conduct, to the Assembly in the late Session, than the full persuasion I was under that both Houses would have gladly avowed the principles of the Council in their late Result, & would have represented to the King that the Governor had forced them to do it by bringing the matter unnecessarily before them.2 For the same reason I have avoided saying anything upon their claim to an exclusive right of granting Salaries to the Judges. It has been the general expectation that, by the resolution discovered in each House, the removal of the Chief Justice would be effected. Upon Reflection, I am not able to discover that I could have disappointed these expectations in a better way than what I have taken, which I find to be approved of by all the friends to Government here, and I humbly hope for his Majesty’s Approbation. The two messages from the Council & House, the last day of the Session, make a new Constitution without the least colour from the Charter, and ought to have been exposed, to prevent any Advantage being taken from them by future Assemblies;3 but the Articles which the House had framed against the Chief Justice contained matter so offensive to His Majesty’s Ministers, to the parliament, and to the King himself, that after they were made publick, I could not have justified the neglect of the most proper resentment, putting an end to their Session before the business of it was finished.

    It is proper I should acquaint your Lordship with a message sent to me by the House desiring to be informed of the state of the Province powder &ca. The intent was to draw from me such an answer as might give them a handle for the removal of part of the powder & arms from the Castle, but, not effecting this design, they passed a vote to enable the Commissary General to purchase 500 barrels of Powder, and determined where it should be deposited. There being more than 1000 barrels in the Magazines an additional quantity was unnecessary but, if there had been no other reason, their taking upon them the destination of military stores must alone have prevented my assent to their vote, especially, as it had been intimated that this powder would be wanted for such purposes as the Governor would not approve of, and therefore it ought not to be upon an Island and in the Castle, but upon the mainland and where the people could command it if there should be occasion.4 I have no doubt that the principal design of this whole proceeding is for the sake of the people in the Gallery of the House to increase the spirit which the news papers every week attempt to raise among the people of the province in general, and to cause formidable apprehensions in the Kingdom, but an opposition to his Majesty’s forces is so wild and extravagant a design that I cannot bring myself to beleive even the present leaders of the people so mad as, in earnest, to be engaged in it. It is nevertheless proper for me to acquaint your Lordship with the proceeding.

    A proposal for a general Congress of all the Colonies was expected and the omission of this is attributed by some to the sudden prorogation of the Court, others say that it was judged expedient to defer it to the next Session and that the Committees of Correspondence will prepare the way for it.

    As I had received no Instructions to the contrary and as four of the Judges had been affraid to receive the Salaries allowed by the King, I thought I could not justify the refusal of my assent to the Grants made them by the Assembly seeing they would be left without support. The House & Council went on renewing and increasing the Salaries to their Agents to which my Instructions would not suffer me to give my Assent.5

    Nothing more occurs to me to have passed in the Session necessary to be communicated to your Lordship. The several Laws are preparing in order to my transmitting them to the Board of Trade pursuant to my Instructions.

    I have in my publick Correspondence repeatedly given my opinion of these Committees of Correspondence after the prorogations of the Assemblies and a fortiori after their dissolutions as, unconstitutional and unwarrantable upon any principles of the English Government, and at all times considering the professed ends of their appointment, as unlawful confederacies or combinations, and of most dangerous tendency. I have it from such authority as leaves no room to doubt that they are now projecting measures in opposition to the establishment of the post office in America by Act of parliament, and that the proposals came from as far Southward as the Committees of Pensilvania & Maryland to the Committees of this province, but the particulars of their Scheme I have not been able to learn.6 The Messenger who came with the proposals to this province is gone forward to New Hampshire. It has long been a persuasion with the heads of the party, in this province, and I suppose in the other Colonies engaged in the Correspondence, that the more they appeared determined in their opposition, the greater probability of their prevailing and I do not know that all that is said or done about the post office may not be for the sake of such appearance only.7 It is certain that it is no secret and the Committee themselves talk freely & openly about it, but, be it as it may, it is my duty as the Servant of the Crown to take notice of it to your Lordship. I have the honour to be My Lord Your Lordship’s most obedient & most humble Servant,

    DupRC (National Archives UK, CO 5/763, ff. 152–53); at foot of letter, “Rt: Honble: the Earl of Dartmouth.”; docketed, “Boston 21st. March 1774. Governor Hutchinson (No. 44) Rx 13th: May. (Dup—origl. not reced)”; in TH Jr.’s hand. AC (British Library, Eg. 2661, ff. 16–17); at head of letter, “Packet & the Hope”; primarily in TH Jr.’s hand. SC (National Archives UK, CO 5/769, ff. 65–70); docketed, “Boston 21st. March 1774. Governor Hutchinson. (No. 44.) Rx 13th. May. Dupte. Origl. not received”; at end of letter, “Inclosures. 1. Message of the House of Representatives to Governor Hutchinson relative to the Province state of Powder, dated 1st. Feb. 1774. 2. The Governor’s Answer on the veto. 3. Resolution of the House to purchase 500 bbls. of Powder [illegible].” SC (Staffordshire Record Office, Dartmouth Collection, D(W)1778/II/864); at head of letter, “Copy.”; at foot of letter, “Earl of Dartmouth.”; docketed, “Copy of a Letter from Govr. Hutchinson to the Earl of Dartmouth, dated Boston, 21st. March, 1774.” SC (Houghton Library, Sparks 10, 4:67–68); docketed, “Govr. Hutchinson To Lord Dartmouth”; at end of letter, “[Seal. aff. Dupe. the origl. not recd. 13 May 1774]” (brackets in original). SC (Houghton Library, Sparks 43, 1:184–85); docketed, “Thos: Hutchinson to Lord Dartmouth”; partial excerpt of first two and last paragraphs only. Enclosures to DupRC: Massachusetts House of Representatives to TH, 1 February 1774 (National Archives UK, CO 5/763, ff. 154–55); TH to the House of Representatives, 4 February 1774 (National Archives UK, CO 5/763, ff. 156–57); Act passed by the Massachusetts General Court, 8 March 1774 (National Archives UK, CO 5/763, ff. 158–59).

    1246. To William Tryon

    Boston 21st March 1774

    Dear Sir, The letter for Halifax will go by the Kingfisher Sloop of War, Capt. Montagu, who has lain some days waiting for a wind.

    I had fully determined to embark so, as with a common passage to have been in England by the middle or twentieth of April, but the Lieutenant’s Governor’s illness caused me to suspend my preparations for my Voyage, & his death to lay aside further thouhts of it until a Successor is appointed. I doubt whether I could justify leaving the Government in the hands of a Council which has publickly avowed such principles as they have done, for such is the Constitution of this Government, that if they displace Officers, and do many other Acts of Government in the absence of the Governor, it will not be in his power, upon reassuming his place, to set right, without their consent, what they have done wrong. I have no doubt they would immediately have removed the Chief Justice for taking the Salary granted by the Crown, and after they had appointed another, in his place, he must have remained until their voice could be obtained to supersede him. Its a great disappointment to me but my private views must terminate whenever the King’s Service comes in the way.

    The compensation made you by the Assembly in part of your Loss, does honour to the province, and must be a satisfaction to you as it is a mark of their esteem.1

    By all my late advices from England, I have reason to think, the true state of this province, and of the peculiar difficulties to which I have been subjected from the Machinations of a set of Men there in concert with the Incendiaries here, is at length, well known there, and that my conduct has been approved of by the King and his Ministers; and the party here, I am informed very much dislike the advices they have received; but what will be the consequence of the late outrages is uncertain, as no account had arrived when the last letters were dated. As there are malicious as well as artful, persons who continue their News paper paragraphs to my disadvantage, allow me to ask you to contradict, when it may fall in your way, what shall appear to you to be misrepresented and injurious. I pray your care of the Letters inclosed, sincerely wish to you and your Lady and daughter a happy meeting with your friends in England and shall be much obliged by a line to advise your safe arrival there.2 I have the honour to be Dear Sir &c.,

    AC (British Library, Eg. 2661, ff. 18–19); at end of letter, “Govr. Tryon”; in TH Jr.’s hand.

    1247. To William Palmer

    Boston 22d March 1774


    Sir, My brother Foster Hutchinson Esqr. writes by this conveyance to Messrs. Trecothick & Apthorp & to Messrs. Champion and Dickinson to transfer to you for my account such sums as are in the publick funds the property of the late Hugh Hall Esqr. to whom my brother was Executor.1 He supposes there is somewhat more than £400 in the whole but how much exactly was under the care of each House he cannot ascertain. As soon as you advise me of the transfer I am to settle it with him. I desire you would take care that it is done at the lowest price of Stock, or rather agree with them what is the lowest price for which Stock can then be purchased, for according to that we are to settle it here. It is a poor way of improving mony but I have mony laying by which earns nothing, and at present I am at a loss how to improve it in this Country.

    I have lately received a letter from my son in which he tells me Ld Dartmouth encourages him that some provision shall soon be made for him either in England or America.2 At any time past I could not easily have consented to the former, but the prospect in the latter is now so bad for persons in the service of Government that I am in doubt which will be best for him.

    I hope we shall soon have advices from England that will remove the difficulties my sons here are yet under and that they will be able to attend to their business from which they have been debarred to their great damage more than three months past. I am &c.,

    I desire you to send me a floor cloth of what is called Smiths manufactory at Knightsbridge for a Hall in the Country 2 Inches less than 18 feet one way & 2 Inches less than 22 the other the Hall being 18 [dm?].3

    AC (British Library, Eg. 2661, f. 19); at foot of letter, “Mr. Palmer”; primarily in TH Jr.’s hand.

    1248. To Lord Dartmouth

    Boston 29th of March 1774


    My Lord, Since the date of my separate Letter to your Lordship of the 9th. Instant, the Gentleman I then mentioned as a proper person to succeed the late Lieutenant Governor has been with me to desire I would not propose him to your Lordship a place in the Superior Court to which I had formerly given him encouragement being now vacant by the death of Mr Ropes one of the Judges and being more agreeable to his inclination.1 As my letter went by the post to New York I have reason to think it is not yet gone from thence.

    I likewise mentioned to your Lordship Mr Burch, one of the Commissioners of the Customs, and I am not able to name any person in the Province who appears to me more fit for the place, unless any exception should be made to his appointment because he is a Commissioner.2 This I must submit to your Lordship. If I knew that it would not be an exception or that an equivalent could be made him upon the appointment of another person to his present place of Commissioner, I would not propose any other person for Lieutenant Governor, but as it may be detrimental to His Majesty’s service if there should be any delay in the appointment, I beg leave to name one or two other persons lest my proposal for Mr Burch should not prevail.

    The profits which the Secretary makes from his Office very little exceed the Salary which was allowed the Lieutenant Governor and I have no doubt he would willingly be relieved from a laborious Office by exchanging it for a place of ease and no body can be better fixed in principles opposite to those which now prevail.3

    There is a gentleman of the same name with the late Lieutenant Governor but of another family Thomas Oliver Esq. of Cambridge, now Judge of the Provincial Court of Admiralty which he must quit in case of his appointment. He has a handsome Estate, is a very sensible man & very generally esteemed. He is Cousin German to Mr Oliver the Alderman and City Member. I know not how the Alderman stands affected to Government but this Gentleman has been steady in his opposition to all the late measures and I think the Administration in case of the absence of the Governor may be safely trusted with him.4

    Such may be the consequence of the Administration’s falling into the hands of the Council that I am humbly of opinion no time ought to be lost in the appointment of a Lieutenant Governor, and if the popular prejudice against the Commissioners of the Customs should cause your Lordship to think Mr Burch an improper person, and if your Lordship shall not approve of one of the other persons I have named, I hope that, in some way or other, the mischief we are in danger of will be prevented.

    I have no connexion with either of the persons I have named. I wish to see in the place of the late Lieutenant Governor as faithful a Servant to the King as he was himself. I have the honour to be My Lord Your Lordship’s most humble & most obedient Servant,

    RC (National Archives UK, CO 5/763, ff. 160–61); at foot of letter, “Right Honble. the Earl of Dartmouth”; docketed, “Boston 29th March 1774 Governor Hutchinson (seperate) Rx 13th. May.” SC (National Archives UK, CO 5/769, ff. 71–73); docketed, “Boston 29th March 1774. Governor Hutchinson. (Seperate) Rx 13th. May.”

    1249. To Jonathan Clarke

    Boston 30 March 1774


    Dear Sir, The sudden death at last tho in a languishing state of the Lieutenant Governor has put an end to my voyage until a Successor can take his place. As you intimated that it would not be disagreeable to you I cover another private letter to Ld Dartmouth which I wish to be delivered at his Lordship’s house & this tho’ there should be a change in administration which I have no Reason to suppose only as it is always possible. Your father & brother come & dine with me now & then at Milton but lodge at the Castle and no Consignee has ventured to town nor will be able to unless our news from England which we daily expect shall give a turn to our Affairs.1 I am Sir Your most humble,

    AC (British Library, Eg. 2661, f. 19); at foot of letter, “Mr. Clark.”

    1250. To Lord Dartmouth

    Boston 30th March 1774


    My Lord, A Letter having been read in the Annual Meeting of the Inhabitants of Boston from Mr. Lee who was chosen by the House of Representatives their Agent in case of the absence of Mr. Franklin I thought it of importance that your Lordship should know the contents of it.1 The Speaker to whom it was directed having lent it to a Gentleman he copied it and the same person who furnished me with the copy of the Letter which I transmitted in October procured this being in a publick station and thinking himself bound in duty to the King to promote His Majestys Service.2 This is rather more artful than the other but although there is a caution against a denial of the Supremacy of Parliament in general until they are better prepared, the plan for a confederacy against the Kingdom is highly criminal, and this correspondence has had a most mischievous effect in the Province.

    It was not possible to obtain an authentick copy. I have no doubt it is exact except the abbreviated words, for it agrees with the account given me by persons who heard it read in the Town meeting, and I can depend on the person from whom I received it. I am with the greatest Respect My Lord Your Lordship’s faithful & most obedient humble servant,

    RC (Staffordshire Record Office, Dartmouth Collection, D(W)1778/I/ii/964); at foot of letter, “Rt Honble. the Earl of Dartmouth”; endorsed, “Govr. Hutchinson 30 March 1774. Private A.L.” AC (British Library, Eg. 2661, f. 19); at head of letter, “Private” and “Hope”; in EH’s hand.

    1251. To Israel Mauduit

    Boston 31st. March 1774

    the Hope

    Dear Sir, I thank you for your last favour I wished to have seen the greatest part of it in print but it would have been known or shrewdly guessed from whom & to whom it came and would have subjected both the one & the other to the abuse of the most abandoned part of the human race.1 The candour discovered in an Account published by Mr. Whately the 8th. of Jany. which came with your letter surprizes & charms every body who reads it.2

    If we have not passed the Rubicon this Winter we never shall. I will not trouble you with news papers because you are sure of seeing them all in the Coffee house & in them all the proceedings relative to the Chief Justice which are outré even for a House of Representatives.3 The two last Messages of the Council & House set up an intirely new Constitution so far as respects the Governor & Council.4 Their reasoning is founded upon the grossest falsities & misrepresentations & they have dishonored themselves & the province more than any set of men who have gone before them though some of their predecessors had gone such lengths that it was supposed none could go beyond them.

    We are expecting something important from England having yet had no intelligence how the news of the destruction of the Tea was received there.

    The Lieutenant Governor is out of the reach of the malice of his Enemies. They followed him however to the Grave a part of the mob upon the Relations coming out of the burying Ground giving three huzzas, and yet few better men have lived.5

    Give me leave to mention to you that not long before he died, he mentioned to me his intention to resign his place of Treasurer to the Corporation & to recommend my eldest son who bears my name & who married his daughter for his Successor. Upon consulting Doctor Pemberton & Doctor Eliot who with the Treasurer & one or two more would have approved of it among the Commissioners, they agreed that the party spirit would have its Influence in every Order of Men and in this particularly where two other Doctors would oppose it, and especially at that time, as my son was peculiarly obnoxious for being an innocent Consignee of the East India Teas.6 Abstracted from party consideration I think he would have had no voice against him. There is no inducement to accept the place from a pecuniary consideration but it is reputable. I seldom go among them, so many of them being warm patriots, & do not know whether they have or have not recommended a Successor, nor am I certain whether the Lieutenant Governor did or did not write to any friends upon the subject. I am with sincere Regard & Esteem,

    AC (British Library, Eg. 2661, f. 20); at end of letter, “Mr. Mauduit.”; in TH Jr.’s hand.

    1252. To George Rome

    Milton 2d Ap 1774

    Sir, By the Jany packet Ld D writes me that the Affair of the Letters & the Address of the Assembly were before the Priv. Coun. & would be proceeded upon in a few days. This was Jy. 8. He adds at the close of his Letter “The proceedings &ca.”

    From this paragraph I think you may expect that as soon as your papers arrive proper notice will be taken of them. You are the best judge whether any thing will be necessary on your part after you hear from Eng. I hope I shall never have any further trouble on my own account. The persons concerned I am told have exceedingly wounded their own characters. If you chuce to take any immediate further Steps I will forward any papers if you think it will be of any advantage to you but I am in some doubt whether it may not be best for you to avoid all appearance of correspondence with me for I have Reason to believe that Doct. Frankls chief defense is that all the Letter writers were concernd in one grand conspiracy to destroy the liberties of the Colonies & that he as an Agent is to be justified in counteracting them whereas I suppose no one of them had any knowledge of the Letters of any of the rest.1 I think the next packet must bring something [two illegible words]. I am Sir Your most obedient humble &ca,

    I dont mean by avoiding appearance any more than publick appearance & shall be Ready to do you any favour &ca.

    AC (British Library, Eg. 2661, f. 20); at end of letter, “Mr Rome.”

    1253. To Lord Dartmouth

    Boston 4th. April 1774


    My Lord, I beg leave to apologize to your Lordship for the appearance of doubt and irresolution in my separate letters upon the subject of a Lieutenant Governor.1 I could have named five or six, and no more, of the Council whose principles in matters of Government would have been no exception, but either their great age or other circumstances render them unfit.2

    I have had no application from any person. If no Salary be allowed by the King there is not the least emolument, now the Castle is garrisoned by the King’s Troops. If the same Salary should be allowed as was allowed the late Lieutenant Governor it seems to be a prevailing opinion that a Gentleman may come from England.3 The person I first named appeared to me the most proper considering all circumstances and I have reason to think it was a doubt whether any Salary would be allowed which caused him to prefer a certainty in the Superior Court.4 The Secretary would by no means part with what is now his living for a place which affords no certain profit.5 Mr. Burch, in conversation with him, seemed to suppose that a Salary having been once allowed it would be continued, and I have no certainty that any person proper for such a Commission would accept of it if he knew there would be no emolument. It would be improper in me to enter into conversation with persons upon the subject in order to know their minds. In Mr. Dudleys Administration the Province was without a Lieutenant Governor for seven or eight years. There was no danger then from the Administration’s falling upon the Council.6 I have the honour to be My Lord Your Lordship’s most humble & most obedient Servant,

    RC (National Archives UK, CO 5/763, f. 162); at foot of letter, “Rt Honble. the Earl of Dartmouth &ca.”; docketed, “Boston 4th. April 1774 Governor Hutchinson (seperate) Rx 25th. May.” SC (National Archives UK, CO 5/769, ff. 74–75); docketed, “Govr Hutchinson, Boston 4th April 1774 (Separate) Rx 25th May”; at end of letter, “Inclosure: Part of the Boston Gazette, giving an Account of the Arrival of Mr. Wm Goddard Printer in Philadelphia & Baltimore, with a Design, as it is said; to communicate a Plan proposed in the southern Colonies for the total Abolition of the Parliamentary Post Office, in America, by the Establishment of new Constitutional Post Riders & Post Offices in the several Colonies. &c &c &c.” Enclosures to RC: Boston Weekly News-Letter, 24 March 1774, and Boston Post-Boy, 8 April 1774 (National Archives UK, CO 5/763, f. 163).