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TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
MOST GRACIOUS SOVEREIGN,
WE your majesty's loyal subjects, the representatives of your ancient colony of Massachusett's Bay, in genetal court legally assembled, by virtue of your majesty's writ under the hand and seal of the governor, beg leave to lay this our humble petition before your majesty.
Nothing but the sense of duty we owe to our sovereign, and the obligation we are under to consult the peace and safety of the province, could induce us to remonstrate to your majesty [concerning] the mal-conduct of persons, who have heretofore had the confidence and esteem of this people; and whom your majesty has been pleased, from the purest motives of rendering your subjects happy, to advance to the highest places of trust and authority in the province.
Your majesty's humble petitioners, with the deepest concern and anxiety, have seen the discords and animosities which have too long subsisted between your subjects of the parent-state and those of the American colonies. And we have trembled with apprehensions, that the consequences, naturally arising therefrom, would at length prove fatal to both countries.
Permit us humbly to suggest to your majesty, that your subjects here have been inclined to believe, that the grievances which they have suffered, and still continue to suffer, have been occasioned by your majesty's ministers and principal servants being, unfortunately for us, misinformed in certain facts of very interesting importance
importance to us. It is for this reason that former assemblies have, from time to time, prepared a true state of facts to be laid before your majesty; but their humble remonstrances and petitions, it is presumed, have by some means been prevented from reaching your royal hand.
Your majesty's petitioners have very lately had before them certain papers, from which they humbly conceive, it is most reasonable to suppose, that there has been long a conspiracy of evil men in this province, who have contemplated measures and formed a plan to advance themselves to power, and raise their own fortunes, by means destructive of the charter of the province, at the expence of the quiet of the nation, and to the annihilating of the rights and liberties of the American colonies.
And we do with all due submission to your majesty beg leave particularly to complain of the conduct of his excellency Thomas Hutchinson, Esq. governor, and the honourable Andrew Oliver, Esq. lieutenant-governor of this your majesty's province, as having a natural and efficacious tendency to interrupt and alienate the affections of your majesty, our rightful sovereign, from this your loyal province; to destroy that harmony and good-will between Great Britain and this colony, which every honest subject should strive to establish; to excite the resentment of the British administration against this province; to defeat the endeavours of our agents and friends to serve us by a fair representation of our state of facts; to prevent our humble and repeated petitions from reaching the ear of your majesty, or having their desired effect. And finally, that the said Thomas Hutchinson and Andrew Oliver have been among the
chief instruments in introducing a fleet and army into this province, to establish and perpetuate their plans, whereby they have been not only greatly instrumental [in] disturbing the peace and harmony of the government, and causing unnatural and hateful discords and animosities between the several parts of your majesty's extensive dominions; but are justly chargeable with all that corruption of morals, and all that confusion, misery, and bloodshed, which have been the natural effects of posting an army in a populous town.
Wherefore we most humbly pray, that your majesty would be pleased to remove from their posts in this government the said Thomas Hutchinson, Esquire, and Andrew Oliver, Esquire; who have, by their abovementioned conduct, and otherwise, rendered themselves justly obnoxious to your loving subjects, and entirely lost their confidence; and place such good and faithful men in their stead, as your majesty in your wisdom shall think fit.
In the name and by order of the house of representatives,
THOMAS CUSHING, Speaker.
TO THE LORDS COMMITTEE OF HIS MAJESTY'S PRIVY COUNCIL FOR PLANTATION AFFAIRS.
THE PETITION OF ISRAEL MAUDUIT,
Humbly sheweth unto your lordships,
THAT having been informed, that an address, in the name of the house of representatives of his majesty's
colony of Massachusett's Bay, has been presented to his majesty by Benjamin Franklin, Esquire, praying the removal of his majesty's governor and lieutenantgovernor, which is appointed to be taken into consideration on Thursday next; your petitioner, on the behalf of the said governor and lieutenant governor, humbly prays, that he may be heard by counsel in relation to the same, before your lordships shall make any report on the said address.
Clement's Lane, Jan. 10, 1775.
The Examination of Dr. Franklin, at the Council Chamber, Jan. 17, 1774*. Present, Lord President, the Secretaries of State, and many other Lords; Dr. Franklin and Mr. Bollan; Mr. Mauduit and Mr. Wedderburn.
Dr. Franklin's Letter and the Address, Mr. Pownall's Letter, and Mr. Mauduit's Petition, were read.
Mr. Wedderburn. The address mentions certain papers: I could wish to be informed what are those papers?
Dr. Franklin. They are the letters of Mr. Hutchinson and Mr. Oliver.
Court. Have you brought them?
Dr. Franklin. No, but here are attested copies,
The editor has taken this examination from Mr. Mauduit's copy of the Letters of Governor Hutchinson, &c. second edition, 1774, p. 17. He has Mr. Mauduit's authority for supposing it faithfully represented. B.V.
Court. Do you mean to found a charge upon them? if you do, you must produce the letters.
Dr. Franklin. These copies are attested by several gentlemen at Boston, and a notary public.
Mr. Wedderburn. My lords, we shall not take advantage of any imperfection in the proof. We admit that the letters are Mr. Hutchinson's and Mr. Oliver's hand writing: reserving to ourselves the right of inquiring how they were obtained.
Dr. Franklin. I did not expect that counsel would have been employed on this occasion.
Court. Had you not notice sent you of Mr. Mauduit's having petitioned to be heard by counsel on behalf of the governor and lieutenant governor.
Dr. Franklin. 1 did receive such notice; but I thought this had been a matter of politics, not of law, and have not brought my counsel.
Court. Where a charge is brought, the parties have a right to be heard by counsel or not, as they choose. Mr. Mauduit. My lords, I am not a native of that I know well Dr. country, as these gentlemen are. Franklin's abilities, and wish to put the defence of my friends more upon a parity with the attack; he will not therefore wonder that I choose to appear before your lordships with the assistance of counsel. My friends, in their letters to me, have desired (if any proceedings, as they say, should be had upon this address) that they may have a hearing in their own justification, that their innocence may be fully cleared, and their ho nour vindicated, and have made provision accordingly. I do not think mysel at liberty therefore to give up the assistance of my counsel, in defending them against this unjust accusation.