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importance to us. It is for this reason that former as, semblies have, from time to time, prepared a true state of facts to be laid before your majesty; but their hum. ble 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, aş haying a natural and efficacious tendency to interrupt and alienate the affecțions of your majesty, or 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 6
chief instruments in introducing a fleet and army into this province, to establish and perpetuate their plans, whereby they have been not only greatly instruinental [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 arıny in a populous town."
Wherefore we must 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 sball tbiok fit.
In the name and by order of the house of
THE PETITION OF ISRAEL MAUDUIT,
Humbly sheweth unto your lordships, THAT baving 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 Cham
ber, 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?
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. Mau. duit's having petitioned to be heard by counsel on behalf of the governor and lieutenant-governor.
Dr. Franklin. I did receive such notice; but I thought this had been a matter of politics, vot of law, and have not brought iny counsel.
Court. Where a charge is brought, the parties have a right to be heard by counsel or not, as they choose.
Mr. Muuduit. My lords, I ain not a native of that country, as these gentlemen are. I know well Dr. 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 honour vindicated, and have made provision accordingly. I do not think myself at liberty therefore to give up the assistance of my counsel, in defending them against this unjust accusation.
Court. Dr. Franklin may have the assistance of counsel, or go on without it, as he shall choose.
Dr. Franklin. I desire to have counsel.
Ordered that the further proceedings be on Saturday 29th instant*.
* The privy council accordingly met on the 29th of January, 1774, when Mr. Dunning and Mr. John Lee appeared as counsel for the assembly, and Mr. Wedderburu as counsel for the governor and lieutenant go
Mr. Weduerburn was very long in his answer, which chiefy related to the mode of obtaining and sending away Mr. Whately's letters; and spoke of Dr. Franklin in terms of abuse, which never escape from one gentleman towards another. In the event, the committee of the privy council made a report, in which was expressed the following opinion : “ The lords of the committee do agree humbly to report, as their opinion to your majesty, that the petition is founded upon resolutions formed on false and erroneous allegations; and is groundless, vexations, and scandalous, and calculated only for the seditious purposes of keeping up a spirit of clamour and discontent in the said province. And the lords of the committee do further humbly report to your majesty, that nothing has been Jaid before them winch does or can, in their opinion, in any manner, or in any degree, impeach the honour, integrity, or conduct of the said governor or lieutenant-governor ; and their lordships are huimbly of opinion that the said petition ought to be dişınissed.”
Feb. 71h, 1774. “ 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 province of Massachusett's Bay be dismissed the board—as groundless, vexatious, and scandalous; and calculated only for the seditious purpose of keeping up a spirit of clamour and discontent in the said province." -A former petition against governor Bernard met with a dismission couched in siinilar terms. B. V.