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Disorders on the American frontiersState of the capital of England on account of WilkesSending a bishop to America.

.iioiopii ti-T° Mr. Ross, Philadelphia.

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Dear Sir, London, May 14,1768.

-ae.'iwJ.'' 1 received your favor of March 13, and am extremely concerned at the disorders on our frontiers, and at the debility or wicked connivance of our government and magistrates, which must make property and even life more and morfi insecure among us, if some effectual remedy is not speedily applied. I have laid all the accounts before the ministry here. I wish I could procure more attention to them. I have urged over and over the necessity of the change we desire; but this country itself being at present in a situation very little better, weakens our argument, that a royal government would be better managed and safer to live uuder than that of a proprietary. Even this capital, the residence of the king, is now a daily scene of lawless riot and confusion. Mobs patrolling the streets at noon-day, some knocking all down that will not roar for Wilkes and Liberty; courts of justice afraid to give judgment against him; coalheavers and porters pulling down the houses of coal merchants that.refuse to give them more wages; sawyers destroying saw mills; sailors unrigging all the outward bound ships, and suffering none to sail till merchants agree to raise their pay; watermen destroying private boats and threatening bridges; soldiers firing among the mobs and killing men, women and children: which seems only to have produced an universal sullenness, that looks like a great black cloud coming on, ready to burst in a general tempest. What the event will be, God only knows. But some punishment


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seems preparing for a people who are ungratefully abusing the best constitution and the best king any nation was ever blessed with; intent on nothing but luxury, licentiousness, power, places, pensions, and plunder; while the ministry divided in their councils, with little regard for each other, worried by perpetual oppositions, in continual apprehension of changes, intent on securing popularity in case they should lose favor, have for some years past had little time or inclination to attend to our small affairs, whose remoteness makes them appear still smaller. . •'.

The bishops here are very desirous of securing the Church of England in America, and promoting its interest and enlargement by sending one of their order thither: but though they have long solicited this point with government here, they have not as yet been able to obtain it. So apprehensive are ministers of engaging in any novel measure.

I hope soon to have an opportunity of conferring with you, and therefore say no more at present on this subject. I am, my dear friend, yours affectionately, B. Franklin.

. . . . • • • . t\

. To Joseph Galloway, Esq. * ■

Great disorders in London occasioned by Wilkes's party.

Dear Sir, London, May 14. 1768. •

I received your favor of March 31. It is now with the messages, Sac. in the hnnds of the minister, sol cannot be more particular at present in answering it than to say, I should have a melancholy prospect in going home to such public confusion, if 1 did not leave greater confusion behind me. The newspapers and my letter of this day■ttj Mr. Ross will inform you of the miserable situation this country is in. While I am writing, a gre:■.t mob of coalporters fill the street, earning a wretch of their bujiness upon

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poles to be ducked, and otherwise punished at their pleasure for working at the old wages. All respect to law and government seems to be lost among the common people, who are moreover continually enflamed by seditious scribblers to trample on authority and every thing that used to keep them in order. ... - v..v

The parliament is now sitting, but will not continue long together, nor undertake any material business. The Court of King's Bench postponed giving sentence against Wilkes on his outlawry till the next term, intimidated as some say by his popularity, and willing to get rid of the affair for a time till it should be seen what the parliament would conclude ai to his membership. The commons, at least some of them, resent that conduct, which has thrown a burthen on them it might have eased them of, by pillorying or punishing him in some infamous manner, that would have given better ground for expelling him the house. His friends complain of it as a delay of justice, say the court knew the outlawry to be defective, and that they must finally pronounce it void, but would punish him by long confinement. Great mobs of his adherents have assembled before the prison, the guards have fired on them: it is said five or six are killed and sixteen or seventeen wounded, and some circumstances* 'have attended this military execution, such as its being done by the Scotch regiment, the pursuing a lad and killing him at his father's house, Sec. &c. that exasperate people exceedingly, and more mischief seems brewing. Several of the soldiers are imprisoned. If they are not hanged it is feared there will be more and greater mobs; and if they are, that .no soldier will assist in suppressing any mob hereafter. The prospect either way is gloomy. It is said the English soldioiv cannot be confided in to act against these mobs, being-stwpected as rather inclined to fa\oi and joiu them.


I am preparing for my return, and I hope for the pleasure of finding you well, when I shall have an opportunity of communicating to you more particularly the state of tilings here relating to our American affairs which I cannot so well do by letter. 1 enclose you the report of Sir M. L. counsel to the Board of Trade on one of your late acts. I suppose it has had its effect, so that the repeal will be of little consequence. In the mean time I am with sincere esteem and affection, sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

B. Franklin.

To Governor Franklin. The Duke of GraftonMr. Secretary CooperLord North -Mr. Todd, secretary of {he post officeLord Clare. ,0»

Dear Son, London, July 2, 1708. ,,T

Since my last I have received yours of May \Qf dated at Amboy, which I shall answer particularly by next week's packet. I purpose now to take notice of that part wherein you say it was reported at Philadelphia I was to be appointed to a certain office here, which my friends all wished, but you did not believe it for the reason I had mentioned.. Instead of my being appointed to a new office, there has been a motion made to deprive me of that I now hold, and 1 believe for the same reason, though that was not the reason given out, viz. ray being too much of an American; but, as it came from Lord Sandwich, our new post master general, who is of the Bedford part}', and a friend of Mr. Grenville, I have no doubt that the reason he gave out, viz. my non-residence, was only the pretence, and that the other was the true reason; especially as it is the practice in many other instances to allow the non-residence of American officers who spend their salaries here, provided care is taken that the business be done by deputy or otherwise.

The first notice I had of this was from my fast friend, Mr. Cooper, secretary of the treasury. He desired me by a little note to call upon him there, which I did, when he told me, that the Duke of Grafton had mentioned to him some discourse of Lord Sandwich's as if the office suffered by my absence, and that it would be fit to appoint another, as I seemed constantly to reside in England : that Mr. Todd, the secretary of the post office, had also been with the Duke, talking to the same purpose, &c. That the Duke had wished him (Mr. Cooper) to mention this to me, and to say to me at the same time that though my going to my post might remove the objection, jet if 1 chose rather to reside in England, my merit was such in his opinion, as to entitle me to something better here, and it should not be his fault if I was not well provided for. I told Mr. Cooper that without having heard any exception had been taken to my residence here, I was really preparing to return home, and expected to be gone in a few weeks. That, however, I was extremely sensible of the Duke's goodness in giving me this intimation and very thankful for his favorable disposition towards me; thaj: having lived long in England, and contracted a fiiendship and affection for many persons here, it could not but be agreeable to me to remain among them some time longer, if not for the rest of my life; and that there was no nobleman to whom J. could from sincere respect for his great abilities, and amiable qualities, so cordially attach myself, or to whom I should so willingly be obliged for the provision he mentioned, as to the Duke of Grafton, if his Grace should think I could, in any station where he might place me, be serviceable to him and to the public. Mr. Cooper said he was very glad to hear I was still willing to remain in England, as it agreed so perfectly with his inclinations to keep me here. Wished uie to leave my name at the Duke of Grafton's as soon as

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