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Copy of the COMPLAINT Of the House of Representatives of Massachuset's-Bay, against Sir Francis Bernard: WITH Sir Francis Bernard's Answer.

The Petition of the House of Represen­tatives of Massachu­set's-Bay, to the King's most excel­lent Majesty, for the removal of Sir Francis Bernard, Baronet, forever from the Govern­ment. To the King's most excellent Majesty,

To the KING's most excellent Majesty in Council.

The Answer of Sir Francis Bernard, Baronet, Gover­nor of his Majesty's Province of Massachuset's-Bay, to the Complaint preferred against him by the House of Representatives of the said Province, now de­pending before his Majesty in Council.

Most gracious Sovereign,

WE your Majesty's most dutiful and faithful subjects the Representatives of your ancient and loyal Colony of the Massachu­sett's-Bay; impressed with the deepest grati­tude to Almighty GOD, for calling to the Bri­tish succession your il­lustrious family; and so firmly establishing your Majesty on the throne of your royal progenitors: And being abundantly convinced of your Majesty's grace and clemency, most hum­bly implore the royal favour, while we briefly represent our grievan­ces which your Majesty alone under GOD can redress.

We are constrained in duty to your Majesty, and in faithfulness to our constituents to lay before your Majesty our complaints of his Ex­cellency Sir Francis Bernard, Baronet, your Majesty's Governor of this Colony; whose whole administration appears to have been repugnant not only to your Majesty's service, and the welfare of your subjects in the Colony, but even to the first principles of the Bri­tish constitution.

THIS Respondent protesting against the uncer­tainty, generality, irrelevancy, and insufficiency of the said Complaint, and against his being required to make any unnecessary, superfluous, or im­practicable proofs, particularly proofs of the negative of such assertions in the said Complaint as are not support­ed by any evidence, and by their generality and want of particular allegations are incapable of negative proof; and also protesting against the unfair practices used by the complainants, or at least by the Speaker and Clerk of the said House, to deprive him of the benefit of such evidence, both written and verbal, as was to be [Page 2] had only at Boston, by refusing to give him a copy of the said Complaint, from the 27th day of June 1769, when the said Complaint passed the House, unto the 27th day of July, being but three days before the day fixed for his departure for England, altho' he frequently applied to the Speaker of the House for such copy, of the truth of which he is ready to made oath: To the Complaint, or to such part thereof as is material for him to an­swer to, answereth as followeth:

And first, the Respondent begs leave to observe of the Complaint, that it had its origination in a resentment against the Respondent, for his being charged with cer­tain orders of his Majesty relating to the House of Re­presentatives, and his declaring his intention to obey such orders. This will appear from the Journals of the House of Representatives, where it will be seen, that on June 21st, 1768, the Respondent sent a message, in­closing an extract of a letter from the Secretary of State to him the Respondent, signifying his Majesty's plea­sure, that he should require the House to rescind a Re­solution of a former House, and declare their disappro­bation of the same. On June 23d, the House desired the Respondent would give them a copy of the other part of the Secretary of State's letter. On June 24th, the Respondent sent a copy of the other part of the letter, by which he was ordered, in case of refusal, to dissolve the Assembly; and said, that, if they obliged him to it, he must obey his orders. On June 30th, the House passed a Vote, that they would not rescind, &c. and passed an answer to the Respondent to that purpose, immediately after which, they appointed a committee to prepare a petition to the King to remove the Governor. The petition being ready prepared, was immediately reported and read; and upon debate, it being objected that there was no proof of the facts alledged, the peti­tion was recommitted, and the committee was ordered to bring evidence in support of divers articles. Thus it rested until a new Assembly met in May, 1769, when this Complaint was revived, with some little alteration, and some additional articles arising from new facts; and [Page 3] notwithstanding it had been before rejected for want of proof, it was now admit­ted without any proof, and passed the House the 27th day of June 1769. It has been since circulated throughout America and Great-Britain, in News-Papers, Magazines and Pamphlets; it has been commented upon, and argued from, as true, in different Papers; and the Respondent has been called upon, by anonymous writers, to answer this complaint before the public, whilst he was en­deavoring to obtain a hearing of it before the King in Council, and the Agent for the Complainants was doing all he could to prevent it, under a pretence of wait­ing for proofs.

1. From his first ar­rival here, he has in his speeches and other public acts, treated the Representative Body with contempt.

1. And the Respondent, further answering, saith, That the first article is notoriously untrue, it being well known to all who are acquainted with the govern­ment of Massachuset's-Bay, that from the time of the present Governor's (the Respondent's) entering upon that government, which was in August, 1760, until the opposition made to the Stamp-act, which began in the year 1765, a very good understanding and agreement of sentiments and actions between the Governor and the Assembly, in both its branches, continually prevailed; of which the Journals of the House afford many pregnant proofs. But, after the opposition to the Par­liament was adopted by the House of Representatives, it became impossible for the Respondent, or any Governor, to do his duty and preserve his popularity.

2. He has in his public speeches charged both Houses of the Ge­neral Assembly expresly with oppugnation a­gainst the Royal Au­thority; declaring that they had left Gentle­men out of the Council, only for their fidelity to the Crown.

2. The Respondent admits, that he did declare that the General Assembly left Gentlemen out of the Coun­cil only for their fidelity to the Crown; and if this is to be deemed oppugnation against the royal authority, he admits this article to be true. And to justify such declaration he observes, that, upon the election of Coun­sellors in May 1766, (which was about a month after they had received advice of the repeal of the Stamp-act) the majority of the General Assembly turned out the Lieutenant Governor (who was also Chief Justice of the Province) the Secretary, two other Judges of the Superior Court, and the Attorney General, all of them men of irreproachable characters, and high estimation among the people. There was no accounting for the depriving the government of the service of men of such high offices, and known abilities and integrity, but from [Page 4] an intention to lower the King's authority in the government, and reduce the royalty of it to mere form, and vest all the real power in the people. That this was and is still the intention, has been since made plain by further proceed­ings in subsequent elections, in which every Counsellor who has been known, be­lieved, or even suspected to be disposed to support the authority of the King and Parliament of Great-Britain, or the royal rights of the provincial government, has been turned out of the Council. The Respondent begs leave to refer to a list of counsellors who have been thus turned out at the four last elections, which, by an enquiry into the characters of the persons from those who are ac­quainted with the province, will fully prove the assertions above mentioned.

3. He has from time to time indiscretely and wantonly exercised the Prerogative of the Crown, in the repeat­ed negative of Counsel­lors of an unblemished reputation, and duly elected by a great ma­jority, some of them by the unanimous suffrage of both Houses of As­sembly.

3. The Respondent admits, that, since the exclusion of the Lieutenant Governor, Secretary, Judges, and Attorney General, from the Council, he has repeatedly used the right given to the Governor by the Charter, of negativing persons elected for Counsellors, and re­turned to him for his approbation; but he denies that he has acted therein indiscreetly or wantonly, or upon any other motive than that of promoting the King's service. He has, from time to time, signified to his Majesty's ministers the principles upon which he formed his conduct in this respect, and has had the honor to have such conduct approved of by his Majesty, as it was signified to him by the Earl of Shelburne, at that time one of his Majesty's principal secretaries of state, by his letter dated Sept. 17, 1767, which was after the second time of his exercising his negative; from which letter he begs leave to insert the following words: ‘I have the pleasure to signify to you his Majesty's approbation of your con­duct, and to acquaint you, that He is graciously pleased to approve of your having exerted the power lodged in you by the constitution of the Province of Massachuset's-Bay, of negativing Counsellors in the late elections, which appears from your several letters to have been done with due deliberation & judgment.’

4. He has declared, that certain seats at the council board shall be kept vacant, till cer­tain gentlemen who are his favourites shall be re-elected.

4. The Respondent denies this article to be true, so far as it relates to the inforcing the re-election of his favorites; for he has no favorites in respect to the government, but such as have recommended themselves by fidelity to the King, and ability to serve him. In this light the Lieutenant Governor and the Secretary [Page 5] may be considered as his favorites; and if such declaration was made, it was in favour of them and them only: And he believes he did make such declaration upon the following account. Upon the exclusion of these two gentlemen from the Council (of which they had been Members for many years, and by their particular functions, as well as their knowledge of the public business, were become almost necessary to that body) upon enquiry into the constitution of the present government, it appeared from the usage under the former Charter, from considerations previous to the granting the present Charter, from the words of the Charter itself, and from the practice of the first year after the opening the Charter, that the Lieutenant Governor and the Secretary had a right to seats and voices in the Council in virtue of their offices, and without being elected thereto, and did actually enjoy such right for one year as aforesaid. But upon the election of a new Council at the end of the first year, the Assem­bly elected the Lieutenant Governor and the Secretary among the twenty-eight elective Councellors, instead of permitting them to be superadded to the elective Councellors, as was designed by the Charter, and practised the year before. The Lieutenant Governor and Secretary acquiescing in this, probably from their unwillingness to dispute with the Assembly, upon whom they were de­pendent, submitted to take their seats as elected Councellors, instead of official members of the Council. And this method prevailing ever after, the King has by these means been deprived of the service of his Lieutenant Governor and Secretary, the nomination of whom he had reserved to himself, in his Council, where it appears to have been intended they should have seats in virtue of their offices. And great detriment has arose to his Majesty's government by their being excluded the Council at particular times, when they have been most wanted, as for late years has been very observable. The Respondent therefore having discovered this usurpation, and finding it too much confirmed by time for him of himself to undertake to restore the Lieutenant Governor & Secretary to their rights, did transmit an account of it to the King's ministers, and did mention the same to the Council of the province, or some of them, at the same time declaring, that as the Lieutenant Governor and the Secretary had an inhe­rent right from their Offices to seats in the Council, though they had usually been reckoned amongst the twenty-eight elected, he should not suffer their seats among the twenty-eight to be filled up by other persons till they were restored to their official seats without the twenty-eight. This he did in order to leave it open to the Assembly to restore them to their seats in the usual way at any time when they should see the impropriety of their being in­cluded.

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5. He has uncon­stitutionally interfered with and unduly in­fluenced elections, par­ticularly in the choice of an Agent for the colony.

5. The Respondent says, that he believes there never was a Governor that less interfered with elec­tions than he has done; so that he knows not what to refer this charge to, unless it is to his recommending a provincial Agent in the year 1765. This he did, and certainly had a right to do, as the provincial Agent is the Agent of the whole General Court, of which the Governor is a part, and must be consented to and commissioned by the Governor before his appoint­ment is complete. The Gentleman he recommended was accordingly chosen, and served the province for two years, and was the most able and respectable Agent that the province ever had.

6. He has very ab­ruptly displaced divers gentlemen of worth, for no apparent reason, but because they voted in the General Assembly with freedom, and a­gainst his measures.

6. The Governor of Massachuset's Bay has no power to displace Civil Officers without the consent of the Council; and hence it is, that many persons hold their Offices in that province who ought to have been displaced long ago. He has indeed a free power over. Military Officers; but has made very little use of it, except in superseding some few commissions of persons who professed and abetted such principles as made them very unfit to have military commands under the King.

7. He has in an unwarrantable man­ner taken upon himself the exercise of your Majesty's royal prero­gative, in granting a charter for a college, contrary to an express vote of the House of Representatives, and without even asking the advice of your Majesty's Council.

7. The Respondent never had any doubt but that he had a right to grant Charters of incorporation un­der the King's seal, of which he is the keeper, as is practised by all other royal Governors in America. And he did once, some years ago, order a Charter to be made out for establishing a collegiate School in the extreme parts of the province, upon the petition of divers respectable persons inhabitants of the said parts, who were ready to endow the said School. But un­derstanding that the proposed Charter gave umbrage to the College at Cambridge near Boston, he, upon that account only, and not out of any doubt of his power to grant such a charter, or the reasonableness and propriety of the charter prayed for, put a stop to the same being issued: And this is the only Charter that was ever agitated before him since he has been Governor of that province.

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8. He has practiced the sending over depo­sitions to the ministry, privately taken, against gentlemen of character here, without giving the persons accused the least notice of his pur­poses and proceedings.

8. The Respondent knows not what Depositions are here referred to, except it be those which it may be supposed he has transmitted to his Majesty's Ministers, in obedience to his Majesty's commands signified to him for that purpose. And he is sorry to say, that he has not done so much in that respect as may have been ex­pected of him: For when he received such commands, he found the intimidation which the faction by their former outrages had raised in Boston so great and uni­versal, that there was a general unwillingness in peo­ple of all kinds, to give a formal testimony against any of the factions party, even of facts which they made no scruple to declare their knowledge of in the course of common conversation. And therefore having no power to oblige people to give testimony, and finding it impracticable to procure voluntary evidence, he could not execute the King's commands with that punctuality with which he has always been desirous to distinguish himself in all acts of duty.

And here it may be proper to observe, that the preceding article, and all the following articles, are charges against him for doing acts which were dictated to him either by the duty of his office or by his Majesty's instructions given un­der his Sign Manual, or by his special commands signified by his Secretary of State. And in all cases, where the Respondent is charged with acts which were known to be done in obedience to his Majesty's instructions, or His special Orders, he cannot consider himself to be chargeable with such acts; but such charge must be understood to be, and to be intended to be, directed immediately against his Majesty's administration. Under this rule he will proceed to consider the following articles.

9. He has very inju­riously represented your Majesty's loving sub­jects of this colony in general; as having an ill temper prevailing amongst them, as dis­affected to your Ma­jesty's government, and intending to bring the [Page 8] authority of parliament into contempt. And by such false representa­tions, he has been great­ly instrumental, as this house humbly conceive, in exciting jealousies, and disturbing that harmony and mutual affection which before happily subsisted, and we pray God may a­gain subsist between your Majesty's subjects in Great-Britain and America.

[Page 7] 9. It is the duty of a Governor to report to his Majesty all transactions by which the honor of his crown, the authority of his government, and the wel­fare of the province may be affected. The Respon­dent has not only had this duty prescribed to him by his general instructions, but has been often reminded of it in the letters of his Majesty's Secretaries of State. In doing this, he has shewn a disposition the very con­trary to that of misrepresenting his Majesty's loving subjects of the colony in general, and has endeavored [Page 8] to apologize for them where he could do it by draw­ing a line between the few who have been auth [...] of the present troubles, and their deluded followers, and distinguishing between the wickedness of the one, and the credulity and intimidation of the other. He has always had a most earnest desire to remove jealou­sies, and restore that harmony and mutual affection which ought to subsist between Great-Britain and America. He used all the means in his power to pre­vent a breach of a good understanding between the two countries; and for that purpose, when the Stamp-act was first agitated, notwithstanding he had reason to be­lieve that the Bill was strongly adopted by the Ministry, he wrote a Letter to the Secretary of State, urging many reasons which occurred to him, against its passing into a law, with a freedom which nothing but a consci­ousness of his integrity, a sense of his duty to both countries, and a desire to prevent any uneasiness between them, could have supported. Afterwards, when the re­pealing the act was in comtemplation, he gave his testi­mony for the repeal, both in his public and his private Letters. He has been always ready to join with the Assembly in any measures for reconciling the two countries, which were consistent with his duty. But of late he has seen no open­ing for it; for, by the convulsions which happened upon account of the Stamp­Act, and their consequences, the management of the public affairs of the pro­vince has got into the hands of a party whose principles and practices are the very reverse of those of conciliation.

10. He has in his letters to one of your Majesty's ministers un­justly charged the ma­jority of your Majesty's faithful council in the Colony with having avowed the principles of opposition to the au­thority of parliament, and acted in concert with a party from whence such opposition originated.

10. The Respondent's report of the proceedings of the Council, from whence their opposition to the au­thority of Parliament has been inferred, was folly sup­ported by authentic papers. And though it has been since made a subject of argument, yet not one material fact alledged by him has been positively denied.

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11. He has also in his letter to another of your Majesty's mini­sters falsty declared that a plan was laid, and a number of men actually enrolled in the town of Boston, to seize your Majesty's Castle William, in the har­bour of the same, out of your Majesty's hands.

11. The account of a design to seize Castle William is expressly mentioned, not to be related as a certain fact, but only as reported and believed. Under such circumstances, it would have been an inexcusable neg­lect of duty in the Respondent not to have informed the Secretary of State of a credited report of so inte­resting a nature. But, as he had not positive proof of the fact, he did not accuse any person by name. The truth is, he had intelligence which he could not make a pub­lic use of, sufficient to induce him to believe that re­port then, and has since had occasion to confirm him­self in such belief; but he has not been able to obtain positive proof of the fact, for the reasons given in his answer to the eighth article.

12. Such represen­tations of the state and circumstances of this Colony from a Gentle­man of the highest trust in it, will of ne­cessity, be received with full credit, till they are made to appear false. And in consequence thereof, your Majesty's true and loyal subjects have suffered the re­proach, as well as other hardships, of having a military force stationed here, to ssupport your Majesty's authority, and the execution of the laws; which measure has been approved of by your Majesty's two Houses of Parliament, as appears in their re­solutions, [Page 10] that the town of Boston had been in a state of disorder and confusion, and that the circumstances of the colony were such as re­quired a military force for the purposes above­mentioned.

[Page 9] 12. This is one of those articles before mentioned, which passes by the Respondent, and attacks the admi­nistration and the two Houses of Parliament; charging the first with ordering troops to be stationed at Boston, and the two last with passing resolutions without suffi­cient grounds to justify such proceedings. Whereas it is notorious, that the sending troops to Boston, and the resolutions of the two Houses of Parliament, were foun­ded upon undoubted and indisputable facts, supported by a variety of evidence, drawn for the most part from authentic papers, and in no way depending upon the meer sayings and opinions of the Respondent.

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13. Having been a principal instrument as we apprehend, in pro­curing this military force. your Majesty's said Governor, in an unprecedented manner, and as though he had designed to irritate to the highest degree, or­dered the very room which is appropriated for the meeting of the Representatives of the General Assembly, was never used for any other purpose, and where their records are kept, to be employed as a barrack for the common soldiers: And the centinels were so posted as that your Majesty's Council and the Justices of the Courts of Common Law were daily interrupted, and even challenged in their proceeding to the business of their several departments.

13. The preamble of this article, whereby the Re­spondent is charged with being a principal instrument in procuring the military force which was sent to Boston, has since been falsified by the party publishing the Respondent's letters, from some of which it appears, that he absolutely refused to apply for troops unless the Council would join with him in it; which they refus­ing to do, he never applied for troops. As for the charge itself, the fact was this: Having received his Majesty's orders to take every necessary step for the accommodation of his troops at Boston, he applied to the Council, to the Select-Men of the town, and to all the justices in the town, whom he called together for that purpose, being all the persons that could be pointed out by the Act of Parliaments for quartering soldiers, seve­rally and separately, desiring them to provide quarters for the soldiers. This they all refused to do; so that when the commanding officer found himself obliged to land two regiments at Boston, there were no quarters for them. Whereupon the commanding officer applying to the Respondent to provide a covering for one of the regiments, who had no camp-equipage with them, until they could hire buildings at the King's expence to make barracks of, the Respondent assigned to them several rooms in the Town-house, which were not then in use, among which was the Representatives chamber; and there the regiment remained, without any inconvenience to the public, or any persons whatsoever, until barracks were provided for them. What enhances the falsity [Page 11] and virulence of this charge is, that the party who has preferred it knew that the Respondent acted in this business under the King's special orders, and that his Majesty has since been pleased to signify his full approbation of his Conduct, under the difficulties that were continually thrown in his way. And yet they have had the boldness in this indirect manner to arraign his Majesty's admini­stration for issuing orders, with which the Respondent had nothing to do but to obey.

14. He endeavour­ed, contrary to the ex­press design of an act of parliament, to quarter your Majesty's troops in the body of the town of Boston, while the barracks provided by the Government at the castle within the town, remained useless: And for purposes manifestly evasive of the said act, he unwarrantably ap­pointed an officer to provide quarters for the troops, otherwise than is therein pre­scribed.

14. This article is of the same complexion with the preceeding, but much more false and prevaricating. The fact upon which it is founded is this: The King ordered two Regiments, to be sent from Ireland, to be landed at Boston; and also two other Regiments to be sent from Halifax to Boston. The two Regiments from Halifax arrived first; and the commanding officer, sig­nifying to the Respondent that he had orders to station both those regiments at Boston, demanded quarters. The Respondent consulted the Council, and by their advice applied to the Select men of the town, and then to the Justices of Peace, and last of all to the Council themselves: But they all refused to assign any quarters to the two regiments, under different pretences; the principal of which was, that they ought to be quar­tered at the castle, upon an island, distant from the town of Boston three miles by sea and seven miles by land, where there were barracks that would hold only one regiment, and that but inconveniently, as has been since proved. And though the impossibility of quartering four regiments in barracks that could hold but one, and the impropriety of quartering troops in an island dis­tant from Boston, which were expressly ordered to be stationed at Boston, were urged again and again, they still persisted in refusing quarters: Wherefore the Commander in Chief found himself obliged to hire buildings, and fit them up for barracks, at the King's expence, for three of the regiments, after having assigned the barracks at the Castle for the other regiment. And endeavors were used to defeat even this the only method left for executing the King's commands; for it was given out by the faction, that if any soldiers were put into such barracks, the officers commanding such soldiers would be prosecuted for quartering soldiers [Page 12] without the interposition of a magistrate, contrary to the Mutiny-Act, and, being convicted thereof by two justices, would incur the penalty of being cashiered: To prevent this abuse of the act, the Respondent, at the request of General Gage, Commander in chief, granted a commission to an officer of his to place the soldiers in the barracks, which should be provided for them at the King's expence. And this is the fact upon which the charge against the Respondent, for evasively ap­pointing an officer to provide quarters for the troops otherwise than is prescribed by the act, is founded. The Respondent is sorry that he is obliged, by the de­signed generality of the charge, in his defence thereto, to state such a detail of un­truth, prevarications, and contempt of law and authority, in the promoters of the accusation against him: But it is all to be accounted for by the propa­gation of one maxim, which originated with the faction, and has lately been adopted by the House of Representatives, That the King has no right to order any of his troops into any of the American provinces, without being first authorized so to do by an Act of the provincial Assembly. And from this pretension the transition is easy to the presumption of petitioning the King to punish an officer of his, for obeying his commands, and assisting to carry his orders into execution.

15. After having dissolved the General Assembly at a most cri­tical season, and while they were employed in the most necessary and important business of the Colony, he arbitra­rily refused to call an­other for the space of ten months, and until the time appointed in the royal charter for calling a General As­sembly, against the re­peated and dutiful peti­tions of the people.

15. The facts, upon which this article is founded, are these: In June 1768, while the assembly of the province was sitting, the Respondent received a letter from the Secretary of State, signifying the King's plea­sure, that he should require of the House of Represen­tatives to rescind a Resolution passed in a former House, and to declare their disapprobation of it; and, if they should refuse to comply, that he should immediately dissolve them. He communicated to the House the first part of the letter, containing the requisition; and upon their desiring a copy of the whole letter, he com­municated to them the other part of the letter, contain­ing the provisional order to dissolve them. The House took nine days to consider of this requisition; and in that time passed all the necessary public bills, and particularly the Tax-Bill, which the Governor remind­ed them of passing, previously to their giving their answer; informing them, that, if he should be obliged [Page 13] to dissolve them, he should not be at liberty to call another Assembly till he received his Majesty's commands for that purpose. The House at length giving their answer, by which they refused to comply with his Majesty's re­quisition, he dissolved them, as he was in duty bound to do. And having re­ceived his Majesty's commands not to call a new Assembly until the May following, being the time appointed by the Charter, he obeyed that order also. These are the true facts upon which this article is founded; and they were all known to the Complainants at the time when they presumed to petition his Majesty to punish a servant of his, for what he did wholly in obedience to his Majesty's express commands.

16. It appears by his letters to the Earl of Hillsborough your Ma­jesty's Secretary of State that he has endeavored to overthrow the pre­sent constitution of go­vernment in this colony, and to have the people deprived of their inva­luable charter rights, which they and their ancestors have happily enjoyed, under your Majesty's administra­tion, and those of your royal predecessors.

16. It is the undoubted duty of a Governor to accom­pany his reports of interesting proceedings in his province with his own opinion of them; and it is indispensable, when he is giving an account of disorders in his govern­ment, to endeavour to trace the causes of them, & to point out the remedies. In the province of Massachusetts-Bay, when civil authority was reduced so low as to have nothing left but the form of a government, and scarce even that, an enquiry into the causes of so great a weak­ness in the governing powers was unavoidable; and there was no entering upon such an enquiry, without observing upon the ill effects of that part of the constitu­tion of that government, whereby the appointment of the Council if left to the people, to be made by annual election; and yet the Royal Governor, in all Acts of Prerogative, is subject to the controul of the Democratical Council. This solecism in policy has been as hurtful in practice as it is absurd in Theory, and is the true cause of the extreme imbecility of the power of the Crown in this government, at Times when the exer­tion of it is most wanted. This is not an observation of a new date; it is of many years standing; and the avowal of the Respondent's opinion on this occasion, is not to be reckoned from the date of his Letters to the Earl of Hillsborough: He has made no scruple to de­clare his sentiments upon this subject, ever since he has felt the effects which the popular constitution of the [Page 14] Council has had upon the Royalty of the government, which as above three years ago; within which time, he has seen the King deprived of the ser­vice of every man at the Council Board who has had resolution enough to disapprove the opposition to the authority of the King and the Parliament, and their supremacy over the American colonies. This, and this only, is the foundation of the charge of his endeavouring to overthrow the Char­ter; whereas his real desire has been, that the Charter should have a more durable stability, by means of a necessary alteration, without which, he is persuaded it cannot have a much longer duration; as the abuse of the ap­pointment of the Council now prevailing, must oblige the Parliament to interfere sooner or later. And therefore he is persuaded, that, in avowing this opinion, he has acted not only as a faithful servant to the King, and a true subject of Great Britain, but also as a real friend of the province of Massachuset's-Bay, whose true interest it is, to have its government so confirmed and established, that it may not be liable to be continually disturbed and disgraced by factions and designing men, as it is at present.

17. By the means aforesaid, and many o­thers that might be enumerated, he has ren­dered his administration odious to the whole body of the people; and has intirely alienated their affections from him, and thereby wholly de­stroyed that confidence in a Governor, which your Majesty's service indispensably requires.

17. The Respondent denies, that by the means men­tioned in the said complaint, or by any other means, he has rendered his administration odious to the whole body of the people. He denies, that the opinion of the whole people of that province can now be taken and ascertained, labouring as it does at present, under the baneful influence of a desperate faction, who, by raising groundless fears and jealousies, by deluding one part of the people and intimidating the other part, has destroy­ed all real freedom, not only of action, but even of sentiment and opinion. But the Respondent doubts not but that his administration has been approved of by the generality of the best and most respectable men in the province; and assures himself, that notwithstanding that, in the course of the late disputes, he has been obliged by his duty to give his testimony against some popular prejudices, when the present infatuation shall cease, and truth and reason shall be allowed to interpose, he shall be acknowledged to have been a faithful ser­vant of the King, and a real friend of the people. [Page 15] In the mean time, having been honoured with his Majesty's approbation of his whole conduct, and that of the two Houses of Parliament of some principal parts of it, he shall leave it to the province of Massachuset's-Bay to do his justice at their own time; and shall commit himself to the disposal of his Majesty, as it shall be though best for His service, in perfect confidence, that he shall not suffer for sacrificing his interest to his fidelity.

Wherefore we most humbly intreat your Majesty, that his Ex­cellency Sir Francis Bernard, Baronet, may be for ever re­moved from the go­vernment of this pro­vince: And that your Majesty would be gra­ciously pleased to place one in his stead, wor­thy to serve the great­est and best Monarch on earth.

And the Representa­tives of the Colony of Massachuset's Bay, as in duty bound, shall ever pray.
In their name, and by their order, signed THOMAS CUSHING, Speaker.

And the Respondent, for proof of such allegations in this answer as shall require it, begs leave to refer to his Majesty's instructions, and the letters of his Secre­taries of State and Commissioners for Trade and Plan­tations directed to him the Respondent, to the acts of the council of the province, to the Journals of the House of Representatives, to his own Letters to his Majesty's Secretaries of State and Commissioners for Trade and Plantations (which Letters, being wrote without any probable view of their being used for this purpose, he humbly submits ought to be admitted as evidence, es­pecially of his intention and meaning, upon which great part of the complaint against him is made to depend,) and to such other evidence as he shall be able to procure here, after having been, by the practices of the mana­gers of the accusation against him, prevented having the benefit of such evidence as was to be had in the province of Massachuset's-Bay.

[Page 16]

The following is the Report of the Lords of the Committee relative to the foregoing Complaint, &c. March 7. 1770.

"THE Lords of the Committee considering, that the complainants ought to have been prepared with evidence to support their charges, at the time of presenting the same, or within a reasonable time after, or at least, that they might have been sufficiently prepared since the bringing into the House of Representatives the former petition to remove the Governor in June 1768. And further, that the House of Representatives having omitted to send over to their Agent, the documents necessary to make good their complaints, although it appears by the printed journals of the aforesaid House, that they continued sitting eighteen days after the passing of the said Order, 27th of June 1769, could only be with a view of keeping up the spirit of clamour and discontent in the said province. And considering likewise that the said articles of complaint against the Governor, could not be supposed to affect the Governor; but are rather a charge against your Majesty's government: Their Lordships are therefore of opinion, upon the whole, that the several charges contained in the said petition of the House of Representatives of Massachusets-Bay, are groundless, vexatious and scandalous; and that the said petition ought to be dismissed."

PRESENT The King's Most Excellent Majesty in Council.
  • Earl Gower, Lord President of the Council,
  • Earl of Halifax, Lord Privy Seal,
  • Duke of Queensberry,
  • Duke of Ancaster,
  • Duke of Newcastle,
  • Earl Talbot, Lord Steward,
  • Earl of Hartford, Lord Cham­berlain,
  • Earl of Denbeigh,
  • Earl of Litchfield,
  • Earl of Rochford,
  • Earl of Percey,
  • Earl of Bristol;
  • Earl of Hillsborough,
  • Viscount Weymouth,
  • Viscount Falmouth,
  • Lord North,
  • Lord Le Despencer,
  • Lord Pelham,
  • Sir Gilbert Elliot,
  • Sir Edward Hawke.

HIS Majesty taking the said Report into consideration, was pleased, with the advice of his Privy Council, to approve thereof, and to order that the said petition of the House of Representatives of the Massachusets-Bay, be, and it is hereby dismissed this Board, as groundless, vexatious and scandalous."

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