909 | From Thomas Hutchinson

    Boston 10 Nov 1772

    Dear Sir

    The enclosed Newspapers will give you the proceedings of a Town meeting which has issued in a Comittee of correspondence in order to procure instructions from the other Towns to their members upon the subject of the Judges Salaries[.] You may judge of this Committee by their Chairman who is but just now discharged from his Guardian and is still once in a few days as mad as ever the effect of strong drink.1 They have beside Young Molineux the Justice Greenleaf2 lately dismissed & some others not much better. I foresee but one difficulty likely to happen to me when the Court meets. Its probable they will make a grant to the Judges as usual and it may be of a larger Sum.3 All the official advice which I have yet recd is from a copy of Lord Hillsboroughs letter to the Lords of the Treasury signifying His Majestys pleasure for making out the Warrants.4 If I should receive no further advice or if there should be no Instruction not to consent to any grant made by the General Court I shall be somewhat at a loss what is expected from me. I have wrote to My Lord Hillsborough ^in a private Letter^ so long ago as the 27. April that the last grant to the Judges was to the first of Jany. last.5 These Warrants are to commence the 5 of July so that for half a year they will be without any Salary. The grant of the Court has always been for the year past. If I should refuse to assent to it I think they will never make any other Grant for the deficient half-year. Its [prbo?]6 the Warrants did not look back to the first of January when their last Salary expired.

    Everything is so uncertain here that there is no determining upon any measure but pro re natâ. At present I think that if the difficulty continues it will be best at the end of the Session instead of a prorogation to make a long adjournment to the beginning of April. The January mail no doubt will be here before that time or I can hear from you by other opportunities. When it is certain that the Warrants are actually signed by the King I dont see how I can assent to a Grant from the Court for a Salary after the Salary from the Crown commences without a special Instruction even if there should be no express signification of His Majestys Pleasure to the contrary unless some unforeseen need [_] should make it necessary. If the Assembly shall obstinately Refuse any provision for the half year as I suppose they will may not the Judges depend upon its being granted by the Crown? Can no way be found to obtain an addition of £50 to the puisné Judges? They are very much disheartened. There Rank is above the Admiralty Judges. Everybody takes notice of the disparity. By a letter from Mr Robinson it looks as if an exchange between him and Mr Sewall was impracticable. If any other provision be made for Sewall what need of any appointment for Halifax? There never was a cause tried there and it will be no burden upon Halifax if appeals ly to the Boston Judge and its easier for Canada to carry their Appeals to Boston than to Halifax. If £600 can be saved there £200 may better be afforded in addition to the common law Judges here. I will confine this Letter to this subject. I am Dr Sr

    Yr faithful hum Serv

    Sir Francis Bernard

    You mention Mr Lanes taking out the warrt. We hear nothing further. If they lay for want of the fees which I suppose cannot be great I could wish to know it.

    AL, LBC      Mass. Archs., 27: 405–406.