FRANCIS BERNARD’S FIRST COMMISSION as VICE-ADMIRAL OF THE PROVINCE OF THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY
12 February, 1760
George the Second by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland king Defender of the Faith. To our beloved Francis Bernard Escp our Captain General and Governor in Cheif of Our Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England Greeting:
We confiding very much in your Fidelity, Care and Circumspection in this Behalf Do by these presents, which are to continue during our Pleasure only, Ordain, constitute and depute you the said Francis Bernard Esqȝ our Captain General & Governor in Cheif aforesaid, Our Vice Admiral, Commissary and Deputy in the Office of Vice Admiralty in Our Province of of189 Massachusetts Bay in New England aforesaid and Territory’s thereon depending (in the room of Thomas Pownall Esqȝ appointed Vice Admiral of South Carolina in America) and Territories thereon depending and in the maritime parts of the same and thereto adjoining whatsoever, with power of taking and receiving all and every the Fees, Profits, Advantages, Emoluments, Commodity’s and Appurtenances whatsoever due and belonging to the said Office of Vice Admiral Commissary & Deputy and in our Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England and Territory depending thereon & maritime parts of the same and adjoining to them whatsoever according to the Ordinances and Statutes of Our high Court of Admiralty of England. And We do hereby commit and grant unto you the aforesaid Francis Bernard Escqȝ our Power and Authority in and throughout our Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England aforementioned and Territory’s thereof and maritime parts whatsoever adjacent thereto and also throughout all and every the Sea Shores, Publick Streams, Ports, Fresh Waters, Rivers, Creeks and Arms as well of the Sea as of the Rivers and Coasts whatsoever of Our said Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England and Territory’s dependant thereon and maritime Parts whatsoever of the same and thereto adjacent as well within Liberty’s and Franchises as without. To take Cognizance of and proceed in all causes Civil and maritime and in Complaints, Contracts, Offences or suspected Offences Crimes Pleas, Debts, Exchanges, Accounts, Charter parties, Agreements, Suits, Trespasses, Injury’s Extortions and Demands and Businesses Civil and maritime whatsoever commenced or to be commenced between merchants or between Owners and Proprietors of Ships and other Vessells and merchants or others whomsoever with such Owners and Proprietors of Ships and all other Vessells whatsoever employed or used within the maritime Jurisdiction of Our Vice Admiralty of our said Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England and Territory’s depending on the Same or between any other Persons whomsoever had made, began or contracted for any Matter Thing or Business whatsoever done or to be done within our maritime Jurisdiction aforesaid together with all and singular their Incidents, Emergences Dependances annexed and connexed Causes whatsoever wheresoever or howsoever, and such Causes, Complaints, Contracts and other the Premises above-said or any of them, Which may happen to arise, be contracted, had or done to hear & determine according to the rights, Statutes, Laws, Ordinances and Customs antiently Observed, And moreover in all and singular Complaints, Contracts, Agreements Causes Business Civil and Maritime to be performed beyond the Sea or contracted there, howsoever arising or hapning. And also in all and singular other Causes and matters which in any manner whatsoever touch or any Way concern or anciently have or do or ought to belong unto the maritime Jurisdiction of Our aforesaid Vice Admiralty in our said Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England and Territory’s thereon depending and maritime Parts thereof and to the same adjoining whatsoever, and generally in all and singular other Causes, Suits, Crimes, offences, Excesses Injury’s Complaints misdeameanours or suspected misdemeanours Trespasses, Regratings Forestallings and Maritime Businesses whatsoever throughout the Places aforesaid within the maritime Jurisdiction of Our Vice Admiralty of Our Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England aforesaid and Territory’s thereon depending by Sea or Water or the Banks or Shores of the Same howsoever done, committed perpetrated or hapning, and also to inquire by the Oath of honest and lawful men of our said Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England and Territory’s dependant thereon and maritime parts of the same and and190 adjoining to them whatsoever dwelling both within Libertys and Franchises and without as well of all and singular such matters and Things which of right and by the Statutes Laws Ordinances and Customs antiently observed were wont and ought to be inquired after, as of Wreck of the Sea, and of all and singular the Goods and Chattels of whatsoever Traitors, Pirates, manslayors or Felons howsoever offending within the maritime Jurisdiction of Our Vice Admiralty of Our Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England aforementioned and Territory’s thereunto belonging and of the Goods, Chattels and Debts of all and singular their Maintainers, accessaries, Counsellors, abettors or assistants whomsoever and also of the Goods, Debts, and Chattels of whatsoever other Person or Persons Felons of themselves by what means or howsoever coming to their Death within our aforesaid maritime Jurisdiction wheresoever any such Goods Debts and Chattels or any part thereof by Sea, Water or Land in Our said Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England and Territory’s thereon dependant and maritime parts of the Same and thereto adjacent whatsoever as well within Liberty’s and Franchises as without have been or shall be found forfieted or to be forfieted or in being, And Moreover as well of the Goods, Debts and Chattels of whatsoever other Traitors, Felons and Manslayers wheresoever offending, and of the Goods Debts and Chattels of their maintainers, accessary’s, Counsellors, Abettors or assistants as of the Goods Debts and Chattels of all Fugitives, Persons convicted, attained, condemned, out lawed or howsoever put or to be put in Exigent for Treason, Felony, manslaughter or murther or any other offence or Crime whatsoever & also concerning Goods waving Flotzon Jetzon, Lagon, Shares & Treasurer191 found or to be found Deodands and of the Goods of all Others whatsoever taken or to betaken as Derelict or by chance found or to be found or howsoever due or to be due and of all other Casualty’s as well in upon or by the Sea and Shores, Creeks or Coasts of the Sea or maritime parts, as in upon or by all Fresh Waters, Ports Publick Streams, Rivers or Creeks, or Places overflown whatsoever within the Ebbing and Flowing of the Sea or high Water or upon the Shores or Banks of any of the Same within Our maritime Jurisdiction aforesaid howsoever whensoever or by what means soever arising, hapning or proceeding or wheresoever such Goods, Debts and Chattels or other the Premises or any parcel thereof may or shall happen to be met with or found within Our maritime Jurisdiction aforesaid, and also concerning ancorage, Lastage and Ballast of Ships and of Fishes Royal, namely, Sturgeons, Whales, Porpusses, Dolphins, Riggs & Grampusses and generally of all other Fishes whatsoever which are of a great or very large Bulk or Fatness anciently by right or Custom or any Way appertaining or belonging to us And to ask, require levy take, collect, receive and obtain and to the use of us and of the Office of Our high Admiral of Great Britain aforesaid for the time being to keep & preserve the said Wreck of the Sea Goods Debts and Chattels and all and singular other the premises together with all and all manner of Fines, mulcts Issues Forfeitures Amerciaments, Bansoms and Becognizances, whatsoever forfeited or to be forfeited and pecuniary punishments for Trespasses Crimes, Injury’s Extortions Contempts and other misdemeanours whatsoever howsoever imposed or inflicted or to be imposed or inflicted for any matter cause or thing whatsoever in Our said Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England and Territory’s thereunto belonging and maritime parts of the same and thereto adjoyning in any Court of Our Admiralty there held or to be held, presented or to be presented, assessed brought, forfeited or adjudged. And also all amerciements Issues, Fines Perquisites, Mulcts & pecuniary punishments whatsoever, and Forfeitures of all manner of Becognizances before you or your Lieutenant, Deputy or Deputy’s in Our said Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England and Territory’s thereunto belonging and maritime parts of the same and thereto adjacent whatsoever hapning or imposed, or to be imposed or inflicted, or by any means assessed, presented forfeited or adjudged or howsoever by reason of the Premises due or to be due in that Behalf to Us our Heirs and Successors and further to take all manner of Becognizances, Cautions, Obligations and Stipulations as well to our use as at the Instance of any Party’s for agreements & Debts and other Causes whatsoever and to put the same in Execution and to cause & command them to be executed, and also to arrest and command to be arrested according to the Civil and maritime Laws and antient Customs of Our said Court all Ships, Persons, Things Goods Wares and Merchandizes for the premises and every of them and for other Causes whatsoever concerning the same, wheresoever they shall be met with or found throughout our said Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England and Territory’s thereunto belonging and maritime parts thereof and thereto adjoining within Liberty’s and Franchises or without and likewise for all other Agreements, Causes or Debts howsoever contracted or arising so that the Goods or Persons of the Debtors may be found within Our Jurisdiction aforesaid and to hear examine, discuss and finally determine the same with their Emergences, Dependences Incidents annexed and connexed Causes and Businesses whatsoever together with all other Causes, Civil and maritime and Complaints, Contracts and all and every the respective Premises whatsoever above expressed according to the Laws and Customs aforesaid and by all other lawful Ways, means and methods according to the best of your Skill and Knowledge, and to compel all manner of persons in that Behalf as the Case shall require to appear and to answer with power of using any temporal Coertion and of inflicting any other Penalty or mulct according to the Laws and Customs aforesaid and to do and administer Justice according to the right Order and Course of the Law, summarily and plainly looking into the truth of the Fact, and to Fine, correct Punish Chastize and reform & imprison & cause and command to be imprisoned in any Goals being within Our Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England aforesaid and Territory’s thereunto belonging the Party’s guilty and the Contemners of the Law and Jurisdiction of Our Admiralty aforesaid and Violaters usurpers, Delinquents and contumacious absenters, masters of Ships, mariners, Bowers, Fishermen Shipwrights and other Workmen & Artificers whatsoever exercising any Kind of maritime affairs according to the Eights Statutes, Laws Ordinances and Customs antiently observed, and to deliver and absolutely discharge and cause and command to be discharged whatsoever Persons imprisoned in such Cases who are to be delivered, and to preserve and cause to be preserved, the Publick Streams, Ports, Rivers Fresh Waters and Creeks whatsoever within Our maritime Jurisdiction aforesaid in what place soever they be in Our said Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England and Territory’s thereunto belonging and maritime parts of the same and thereto adjacent whatsoever as well for the Preservation of Our Navy Royal and of the Fleets and Vessells of Our Kingdoms and Dominions aforesaid as of whatsoever Fishes increasing in the Rivers and Places aforesaid And also to keep and cause to be executed and kept in Our said Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England and Territory’s thereunto belonging and Maritime parts thereof and thereto adjacent whatsoever the Eights, Statutes, Laws, Ordinances and Customs antiently observed and to do, exercise, expedite and execute all and singular other Things in the Premises, and Every of them as they by right and according to Laws and Statutes Ordinances and Customs aforesaid should be done And moreover to reform nets too close and other unlawful Engines or Instruments whatsoever for the Catching of Fishes wheresoever by Sea or Publick Streams Ports, Rivers, Fresh Waters or Creeks whatsoever throughout Our Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England aforesaid and Territory’s dependant thereon & maritime parts of the same & thereto adjacent used or exercised by Water within Our maritime Jurisdiction aforesaid wheresoever, and to punish and correct the Exercises and Occupiers thereof according to the Statutes, Laws Ordinances and Customs aforesaid, And to pronounce, promulge & interpose all manner of Sentences, & Decrees and to put the same in Execution with Cognizance and Jurisdiction of Whatsoever other Causes Civil & maritime which relate to the Sea or which any manner of Ways respect or concern the Sea or Passage over the same or Naval or Maritime Voyages or our said maritime Jurisdiction or the Places or Limits of Our said Admiralty & Cognizance aforementioned and all other things done or to be done with Power also to proceed in the same according to the Statutes, Laws, Ordinances and Customs aforesaid anciently used, as well of meer Office mixt or promoted, as at the Instance of any party as the Case shall require and seem convenient and likewise with Cognizance & Decision of Wreck of the Sea great or small and of the Death, Drowning & Veiw of dead Body’s of all Persons, howsoever killed or drowned or murthered, or which shall happen to be killed drowned or murthered or by any other means come to their Death in the Sea or publick Streams, Ports, Fresh Waters or Creeks whatsoever within the Flowing of the Sea and high Water mark throughout our aforesaid Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England and Territory’s thereunto belonging and maritime Parts of the same and thereto adjacent or elsewhere within our maritime Jurisdiction aforesaid together with the Cognizance of Mayhem in the aforesaid Places within Our maritime Jurisdiction aforesaid and Flowing of the Sea and water there hapning with power also of punishing all Delinquents in that Kind according to the Exigences of the Law and Customs aforesaid And to do, exercise, expedite and execute all and singular other Things which in and about the Premises only shall be necessary or thought meet according to the rights, Statutes, Laws, Ordinances and Customs aforesaid, with power of Deputing and surrogating in your place for the Premises one or more Deputy or Deputy’s as often as you shall think fit, and also with power from Time to Time of naming appointing, ordaining, assigning, making and constituting whatsoever other necessary, fit, and convenient Officers and ministers under you for the said Office and execution thereof in Our said Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England and Territory’s thereunto belonging and Maritime parts of the same and thereto adjacent whatsoever (saving always the right of Our high Court of Admiralty of England and also the Judge and Register of the said Court from whom or either of Them it is not Our Intention in any Thing to derogate by these Presents, and saving to every one who shall be wronged or greived by any Definitive Sentence or Interlocutory Decree Which shall be given in the Vice Admiralty Court of Our Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England aforesaid & Territory’s thereunto belonging, the right of appealing to Our aforesaid high Court of Admiralty of England) Provided nevertheless and under this express Condition that if you the aforesaid Francis Bernard our Captain General & Governor in Cheif aforesaid shall not yearly, (to wit) at the End of every year between the Feasts of Saint Michael the Arch Angel and All Saints duly certify & cause effectually to be certified (if you shall be thereunto required) to Us and Our Lieutenant, official principal and Commissary General and Special and Judge and president of the high Court of Our Admiralty of England aforesaid all that which from time to time by Virtue of these presents, you shall do execute, collect or receive in the Premises or any of them together with your full and faithful account thereupon to be made in an authentick Form and Sealed with the Seal of Our Office remaining in your Custody, that from thence and after default therein these Our Letters Patent of the Office of Vice Admiral aforesaid as above granted shall be null & Void and of no Force or effect: Further We do in Our name command all and singular our Governors, Justices Mayors, Sheriffs, Captains, Marshalls, Bailiffs, Keepers of all Our Gaols and Prisons, Constables and all other Our Officers and faithful & leige Subjects whatsoever and every of them as well within Libertys and Franchises as without that in and about the Execution of the Premises and every of them, They be aiding favouring assisting submissive and yeild obedience in all Things as is fitting to you the aforesaid Francis Bernard Esqr Our Captain General & Govr in Cheif of Our Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England aforesaid and to your Deputy whomsoever & to all other officers (by you appointed or to be appointed) of Our said Vice admiralty in Our Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England aforesaid and Territory’s thereunto belonging and maritime Parts of the same & thereto adjoining under Pain of the Law & the Peril which will fall thereon Given at London in the high Court of Our Admiralty of England foresaid under the Great Seal thereof the twelfth day of February in the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred & Sixty & of Our Reign the Thirty third
GODF LEE FARRANT Register
The Great Seal of the high Court of Admiralty appending
— Crown Commissions, 1628–1663, pp. 185–193.