1770 (January–October)

    Entries appearing in italics occurred in England.

    1 January: Original nonimportation agreement expires.

    3 January: TH receives instructions to prorogue the General Court until 14 March.

    9 January: American affairs debated before the House of Lords but soon subsumed by the controversy over John Wilkes.

    17 January: Charles Yorke accepts appointment as lord chancellor.

    17 January: Body of the Trade meets to devise means to coerce all merchants to refrain from sales of imports until new orders of goods could arrive from Britain.

    18 January: Molineux leads a peaceable delegation to TH’s residence and Nathaniel Rogers’s house to demand his sons and Rogers cease selling imports.

    19 January: TH Jr. and EH agree to refrain from sales until a general importation.

    20 January: Charles Yorke dies.

    23 January: TH orders a Body of the Trade meeting at Faneuil Hall to disperse.

    25 January: House of Commons debates Wilkes issue.

    28 January: Duke of Grafton resigns as first lord of the treasury; Lord North appointed first lord of the treasury and chancellor of exchequer.

    2 February: House of Lords debates the state of the nation and Wilkes.

    2 February: A customs seizure is made at Falmouth and subsequently rescued.

    8 February: First demonstration against importers takes place outside William Jackson’s shop. They continue weekly on each Thursday until the death of Christopher Seider.

    22 February: Demonstration outside the shop of Theophilus Lillie ends in Ebenezer Richardson shooting Christopher Seider.

    26 February: Funeral of Christopher Seider.

    28 February: Privy Council convenes to hear the General Court’s complaint against Bernard.

    2 March: TH prorogues the General Court to meet at Cambridge on 15 March.

    2 March: Affray between soldiers and townspeople at Gray’s ropewalk.

    5 March: Lord North introduces a bill for partial repeal of the Townshend Duties. House of Commons refuses to receive petition presented by William Bollan from the Council (which had met illegally without the governor present) but agrees to receive one from Bollan as an individual (not as an agent for the Council).

    5 March: Boston Massacre.

    6 March: Council meets and urges removal of troops to the Castle; TH conveys the “desire” of the Council to Dalrymple.

    8 March: Funeral for four Massacre victims takes place.

    12 March: Removal of the 29th Regiment to the Castle is complete.

    12 March: Town appoints James Bowdoin, Joseph Warren, Samuel Pemberton, and Samuel Adams as a committee to prepare an account of the Massacre.

    14 March: Lord Mayor presents remonstrance to the king calling for immediate dissolution of Parliament. The king dismisses it as “disrespectful to me, injurious to Parliament, and contrary to the principles of the Constitution.”

    15 March: House of Representatives convenes at Cambridge but does no business except to protest sitting there.

    16 March: John Robinson sails for England with Dalrymple’s account, Andrew Oliver’s record of the Council meeting, and a number of depositions favorable to the military.

    19 March: The removal of the 14th Regiment to the Castle is complete.

    19 March: Town of Boston hears the initial report of the committee drafting the Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston. The pamphlet would become its official record of events.

    22 March: TH writes to Bernard urging him no longer to pursue TH’s appointment as his successor.

    1 April: Short Narrative is dispatched to England.

    12 April: Partial repeal of the Townshend Duties receives royal assent.

    15 April: General Court reconvenes in Cambridge but refuses to proceed to business.

    21 April: Ebenezer Richardson is found guilty of murder.

    21 April: John Robinson arrives in London with news of the Boston Massacre

    22 April: Cabinet meets in emergency evening session.

    24 April: Boston Gazette’s account of the Massacre is reprinted in the London newspapers, along with a letter sent by leading patriots to Thomas Pownall.

    26 April: General Court prorogued until new elections.

    26 April: House of Commons calls on the ministry for an account of events in Boston.

    27–29 April: Body of the Trade meets to reaffirm its commitment to nonimportation.

    28 April: An account of the Massacre more favorable to the soldiers, drawn from information provided by Col. William Dalrymple and Capt. Thomas Preston, appears in the London papers.

    1 May: Breakaway group of merchants meets to attempt to end nonimportation but disperses under threat.

    1 May: Harvard Overseers meet; a motion to protest the presence of the General Court is narrowly defeated.

    8-9 May: Parliamentary opposition initiates debate on American policy.

    10 May: Effigy of Nathaniel Rogers is burned in New York.

    14 May: Philadelphia merchants postpone decision on ending nonimportation until 5 June.

    15 May: Boston town meeting adopts Josiah Quincy Jr.’s draft of instructions to their representatives advocating intercolonial union and military preparedness.

    17 May: 29th Regiment departs from the Castle for New Jersey.

    18 May: Tarring and feathering of tidesman Owen Richards.

    23 May: Some Boston merchants vote to begin importing all items except tea in the fall but are forced to reverse their decision by the Body of the Trade.

    30 May: General Court reconvenes in Cambridge.

    4 June: Spanish troops seize the Falkland Islands precipitating an international crisis.

    18 June: Copies of Captain Preston’s account of the Massacre, printed in England, arrive back in Boston stirring resentment.

    19 June: Carting of James McMasters; attack on Customs Commissioner Henry Hulton’s house in Brookline.

    21 June: Boston News Letter reprints Captain Preston’s account from the London newspapers.

    25 June: First session of the General Court ends; the Body of the Trade votes to continue nonimportation despite news of New York’s probable defection.

    26 June: Hutchinson receives letter informing him of his appointment as governor.

    11 July: New York merchants send first orders for goods since nonimportation began.

    25 July: General Court reconvenes but refuses to proceed to business.

    9 August: Nathaniel Rogers, TH’s nephew, dies of apoplexy.

    7 September: Preston and soldiers are arraigned for murder.

    10 September: Provincial garrison at Castle William replaced by regulars.

    24 September: Boston Gazette reprints Andrew Oliver’s account of the Council meeting of 6 March from a copy of A Fair Account, which was printed in London and had just arrived in Boston.

    4 October: Council begins proceedings against Andrew Oliver.

    24 October: Council resolves Andrew Oliver is guilty of “breach of trust” and sends complain to London; Preston’s trial begins.

    30 October: Preston acquitted.