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(No. I.) "The Message of the Town of Boston to the GOVERNOUR.
May it please your Excellency, THE freeholders and other inbabitants of the town of Boston, legally assembled in Faneuil-Hall, beg leave to acquaint your Excellency, that a report has prevailed, which they have realon to apprehend is well-grounded, that dipends are affixed to the offices of the Judges of the superior Court of Judicature, &c. of this province, whereby they are become independent of the grants of the General Assembly for their support; contrary to ancient and invariable ufage. This report has spread an alarm among all considerate perfons who have heard of it in town and country; being viewed, as tending rapidly to complete the system of their Navery; which originated in the House of Commons of Great-Britain, assuming a power and authority, to give and grant the monies of the colonists without their consent, and against their repeated remonstrances. And, as the judges hold their places during pleasure, this establishment appears big with fatal evils, so obvious that it is needless to trespass on your Excellency's time in mentioning them.
It is therefore the humble and earnest request of the town, that your Excellency would be pleased to inform them, Whether you have received any such advice, relating to a matter so deeply interesting to the inhabitants of this province, which gives you allurance that such an establishment has been, or is likely, to be made.
(No. II.) The GOVERNOPR's ANSWER to the foregoing MESSAGE.
Ir is by no means proper for me to lay before the inbabitants of any town whatsoever, in consequence of their votes
and proceedings in a Town-Meeting, any part of my correspondence as Governour of the Province, or to acquaint them whether I have, or have not, received any advices relating to the public affairs of the Government. This reafon alone, if your address to me had been in other respects unexceptionable, would have been sufficient to restrain me from complying with your desire.
I shall always be ready to gratify the inhabitants of the town of Boston, upon every regular application to me on business of public concernment to the town, as far as I shall have it in my power consistent with fidelity 10 the trust which his Majesty has reposed in me.
T. HUTCHINSON. Province-House, 30 Oct. 1772. To the inhabitants of the town
of Boston in Town-Meeting assembled al Faneuil-Hall.
( No. III.) The Petition of the Town to the GOVERNOUR. The PETITION of the Freeholders and other inhabitants of
the town of Boston, legally assembled by adjournment in Faneuil-Hall, on Friday O&tober 30, 1772,
Humbly sheweth, That your petitioners are still greatly alarmed at the report which has been prevalent of late, viz. That stipends are affixed to the offices of the Judges of the superior Court of Judicature of this Province, by order of the Crown, for their support.
Such an establishment is contrary, not only to the plain and obvious sense of the charter of this province, but also to some of the fundamental principles of the common law; to the benefit of which, all British subjects, wherever dis. persed throughout the British Empire are indubitably intitled.
Such a jealousy have the subjects of England for their rights, liberties and privileges, and so tender a regard has been shown to them by his Majesty, that notwithstanding the provision made at the revolution, that the judges of the King's superior courts of law there, fhould hold their commiffions, not at pleasure, but during good behaviour, and since that time for their support, his Majesty among other the first as of his reign, was gracioudly pleased to recommend it to Parliament, and an act passed, that their como miffions should not cease at the demise of the King; whereby every thing possible in human wisdom seems to have been done, lo establish an impartiality in their decisions, not only between subject and subject, but between the crown and the subject. Of how much greater importance must it be to preserve from the least supposeable biass, the Judges of a Court invested by the laws of this province, (which have been approved-of by Majesty,) with powers as full and ample to all intents and purposes whatsoever, as the courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer, within his Majesty's kingdom of England, have, or ought to have ?
Your Excellency will allow your petitioners, with due submifsion, to repeat, that this Establishment appears to them pregnant with such fatal evils, as that the most distant thought of its taking effect, fills their minds with Dread and Horror.
These, Sir, are the sentiments and apprehensions of this metropolis: expressed, however, with due deference to the sentiments of the province, with which your Petitioners are anxiously solicitous of being made acquainted.
It is therefore their earnest and humble request, that your Excellency would be pleased to allow the General Assembly to meet at the time to which it now stands prorogued; in order that in that constitutional body, with whom it is to
inquire in quire into Grievances and redress them, the joint wisdom of the province may be employed, in deliberating and de termining on a matter so important and alarming.
The GOVERNOUR'S ANSWER to the foregoing Petition,
The royal charter reserves to the Governour full power and authority, from time to time, as he shall judge neceffary, to adjourn, prorogue, and dissolve the General Assem, bly.
In the exercise of this power, both as to time and place, I have always been governed by a regard to his Majesty's service and to the interest of the province,
It did not appear to me necessary for those purposes that the Assembly should meet at the time to which it now stands prorogued; and, before I was informed of your address, I had determined to prorogue it for a further time.
The reasons which you have advanced have not altered my opinion.
If, notwithstanding, in compliance with your petition, I should alter my determination and meet the Afsembly, contrary to my own judgement, at such time as you judge necessary, I should, in effect, yield to you the exercise of that part of the prerogative, and should be unable to justify my conduct to the King.
There would, moreover, be danger of encouraging the inhabitants of the other towns in the province to assemble, from time to time, in order to consider of the necessity or expediency of a session of the General Assembly, or to de bate and transact other matters which the law that authorizes towns to assemble does not make the bufness of a townmeeting.
of Botton in Town-Meeting
This reply having been read several times and duly confidered; it was moved, and the question accordingly putWhether the same be satisfactory to the town, which parfed in the Negative, Nem. Con.
And thereupon RESOLVED, as the opinion of the inhabitants of this town, that they have, ever had, and ought to have, a right to petition the Kirg cr his representative for the redress of such grievances as they feel, or for preveniing of such as they have reason to apprehend; and to communicate their sentiments to other Towns.
*I have here reprinted this Account of the Proceedings of the TortMeeting of Boston, because it appears to me to contain the filet and inost able statement of the grievances and the claims of he B:i. tish Colonies in North America, before the unhappy way which euch ed in the separation of them from the Mother-Country, thai I have ever seen. As to the arguments that were used for and against those claims in the years immediately preceeding that war, buy the writers on both sides of the question, the reader may see them fully and fairly stated and examined in the first volume of ihe Canadian Freeholder. And a true bistory of the passing of the stamp-act in March, 1:05, during the mi istry of Mr. George Gienville, and of the repeal of it in the following spring of 1765, in the ministry of the Marquis of Rockingham, Nir. Dowdeswell, and General Conway, with a full and clear exhibition of the strong reasons of prudence and equity upon which that repeal was grounded, may be seen in the printed copy of an excellent speech of the late dir. Edmund Burke, delivered in the House of Commons on the 19th of April, 1774, which has been lately republished with his other works. It is a master-piece of truth and eloquence.