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when the being sent to parliament was looked upon as a troublesome service, and therefore not sought after, it is said that such a one, “ being a simple man, and conceiving it might be of some advantage to bim, bad given four pounds to the Mayor and Corporation that they might chuse him to serve them in parliament.” The price is monstrously risen since that time, for it is now no less than 40001.! It is thought that near two millions will be spent this election; but those who understand figures and acl by computation, say, the Crown has two millions a year in places and pensions to dispose of, and it is well worth while to engage in such a seven years' lottery, though all that have tickets should not get prizes. I am, my dear friend, yours affectionately,
To the CommiTTEE OF CORRESPONDENCE,
• PENNSYLVANIA. Repeal of the Duty Act.-Change of Government.-
.' Legal Tender of Paper Money. GENTLEMEN, London, Saturday, April 16, 1768.
1. I have just received your favour of February 20, directed to Mr. Jackson and myself, containing instructions for our conduct relating to the application for a repeal of the duty act, to the change of government, and to the legal tender of paper money; which instructions we shall observe to the best of our abilities. Mr. Jackson has read your letter, and is now reading the messages and other papers transmitted to us, which we shall lay before the Secretaries of State on Monday, and thereupon press the necessity of a change in the administration of our province. The parliament will have a short session, it is
said, in May, when if any application is made for the repeal of that act by the agents of the other colonies we shall join them heartily, and do what we can likewise in the affair of paper money. In the mean time should an Indian war make it necessary to emit paper money with a legal tender, it may be considered how far the fourth clause in the act of the 24 Geo. II. might give countenance to your providing in that way for the emergency ; that act not being altered or repealed by any later, it seems as if the parliament thought that clause not improper, though they have not expressly made the same provision for the other colonies. The mail being to go this evening, I can only add, that I am with the utmost respect for you and the Assembly, gentlemen, your most obedient and most humble servant, B. FRANKLIN.
To GOVERNOR FRANKLIN. New Parliamentary Elections.-Wilkes's Election for
Middleser.- Illuminations on that Occasion. Dear Son, London, April 16, 1768.
Since my last, a long one of March 19, nothing has been talked or thought of here, but elections. There have been amazing contests all over the kingdom, 20 or 30,0001. of a side spent in several places, and inconceivable mischief done by debauching the people and making them idle, besides the immediate actual mischief done by drunken mad mobs to houses, windows, &c. The scenes have been horrible. London was illuminated two nights running at the command of the mob for the success of Wilkes in the Middlesex election; the second night exceeded any thing of the kind ever seen here on the greatest occasions of rejoicing, as even the small cross streets, lanes, courts, and other out-of-the-way places were all in a blaze with lights, and the principal streets all night long, as the mobs went round again after two o'clock, and obliged people who had extinguished their candles to light them again. Those who refused had all their windows destroyed. The damage done and expense of candles
has been computed at 50,0001. it must have been great, - thongh probably not so much. The ferment is not yet over, for he has promised to surrender himself to the Court next Wednesday, and another tumult is then expected; and what the upshot will be no one can get foresée. "Tis really an extraordinary event, to see an outlaw and exile, of bad personal character, not worth a farthing, come over from France, set himself up as candidate for the capital of the kingdom, miss his election only by being too late in his application, and immediately carrying it for the principal county. The mob, (spirited up by numbers of different ballads sung or roared in every street) requiring gentlemen and Indies of all ranks as they passed in their carriages to shout for Wilkes and liberty, inarking the same words on all their coaches with chalk, and No. 45 on every door; which extends a vast way along the 'roads into the country. I went last week to Winchester, and observed that for fifteen miles out of town, there was scarce a door or window shutter next the road unmarked ; and this continued here and there quite to Winchester, which is 64 miles.
To Mr. Ross, Philadelphia, Disorders on the American Frontiers.--State of the • Capital of England on Account of Wilkes.-Sending . a Bishop to America. . " DEAR SIR, ... London, May 14, 1768.
I received your favour of March 13, and am extremely concerned at the disorders on our frontiers, and at the debility or wicked convivance of our government and magistrates, which must make property and even life more and more 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 under 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 ; coal-heavers 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 wiversal 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 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, indontinual apprehension of changes, intent on securing popularity in case they should lose favour, 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 bere, 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, '
To Joseph GALLOWAY, Esg. Great Disorders in London occasioned by Wilkes's Party. Dear Sir,
London, May 14, 1768. I received your favour of March 31. It is now with the messages &c. in the hands of the minister, so I cannot be more particular at present in answering it than