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JOSEPH DUDLEY was commissioned Governor by William III on February 13, 1702;1 but this Commission becoming void on the death of the King on March 8th following, he was again commissioned by Anne on April 1, 1702. He reached Boston June 11th, on which day the following proceedings took place in Council:
Majesty, the Troop of Guards and the Militia being in Arms, who, when the Proclamation was ended, fired three Volleys, which were followed with Huzza's, and loud Acclamations of God save Queen Anne, and the Cannon of the Castle and Forts, and of Her Majesty's Ship the Gosport, and the Merchants Ships then in our Port, was discharged. In the evening the Company was entertained at the Town-House, and other Places, and all other Demonstrations of Joy were given suitable to the Occasion. The 31st, the Representatives took the Oath of Allegiance. The 4th Instant, the Members of the Council and other Gentlemen of the Town went into Mourning for the Death of His late Majesty. The Bells were tolled from 8 till 10 in the morning, and from 2 till 4 in the afternoon; Funeral Sermons were preached in all the Churches, and the Guns of the Castle and Forts, and of the Ships in our Port, were all discharged (p. 1/1).
The above passages prove that certain news of the death of William reached Boston May 28, and that Anne was proclaimed on May 29. In Sewall's Diary, under date of May 28, is a long entry which reads in part as follows: “Burrington from New-found-Land brings Prints of the King's death March, 8. at 8 m. ... Then we resolv'd to proclaim her Majesty here: Which was done accordingly below the Town-house. . . . Proclamation was made between 3 and 4. At 5 p.m. Madam Bellingham dies (ii. 56–57). Most of this entry must have been written on May 29; and an examination of the original Diary shows that in the margin, opposite the words “At 5 p.m.," Sewall wrote “May 29," which date is omitted in the printed Diary. Cf. p. 63 note 2, below.
1 Dudley's Commission had been approved as early as June 28, 1701 (Acts of the Privy Council, Colonial, ü. 799); and on December 11, 1701, Constantine Phipps wrote to the Massachusetts Council and Assembly that "pursuant to yo' direccons I was to wait on Coił Dudley who hath his Maties warrt to be ye Governor" (Massachusetts Archives, li. 137).
An Exemplification of Burges's Commission of March 17, 1715, is in the library of the Massachusetts Historical Society; and in Vol. ii of this Society's Publications it is stated that this Ezemplification "is the only document of the sort (among the Commissions prinţed in this yoluare) thao is now known to be extant” (p. 100 note 1). Since writing that note, I have ascertained that the originals of two other Commissions are in the Irvård čelegě Library, both of which eluded my previous search because neither is črtěžed in the card catalogue under “Manuscripts in this Library.” One is Dudley's Commission as ViceAdmiral of February 26, 1701, which is written on a single piece of parchment and signed “Orlando Gee Regus.” The seal which formerly appended is now missing. It was given to the College Library in 1854 by William Johnston, who graduated in that year. The other is Shute's Commission as Governor of June 15, 1716: see p. 63 note 1, below.
The Gentlemen of the Council receiving Intelligence this morning by an Express from Marblehead of his Excellcies arrival there yester evening in his Majty's Ship the Centurion. And the said Ship being now in sight in her way from thence towards this place; Samuel Sewall, Elm Hutchinson & Nath' Byfield Esq"s with the Secretary were desired and directed forthwith to repair on board her, In the name of the Council to congratulate his Escellcys happy arrival, & to wait upon him to Town - And the said Gentlemen accordingly attended that service.
The said Ship anchoring about noon in Nantasket Road, his Excelley and the Hon ble the Lieut Gov' soon after left her, being saluted at their coming off with the discharge of several Canon on board said Ship, and in their passage up to Town by her Majty's Castle, were again saluted from thence by the discharge of the Canon there, as also by her Majty's Ship and Merchant Ships in the Port as they passed by them, and by the Forts in the Town.
Upon the landing of his Excellency & the Lieutt Govthey were received and attended by her Majty's Council, the Representatives, Ministers, Justices and other Gentlemen, with the Troop of Guards and Regiment of Militia in Armes, from the water side to the Council Chamber; from whence his Excellency, the Council and Representatives removed into the Court Chamber, and being there seated in their places the doors set open and the Gent" and other the Company admitted in. Proclamation was made to command silence, and her Majty's Royal Commission or Letters Patent, Dated at Westminster the first day of April, in the first year of her Majty's reign, constituting his Excellency Joseph Dudley Esqre to be her Majesty's Capto General and Governour in Chief in and over her Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, as also Captain General and Commander in Chief of the Militia & of all the Forces by Sea and Land within the Colonys of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation and the Narraganset Countrey or Kings Province and of all Forts and places of strength within the same, was read and published.
Then his Excelcy tookė the oaths appointed by Act of Parliament passed in the first year of the Reign of King William and Queen Mary to be taken instead of the oaths of allegiance & Supremacy, unto her present Majty Queen Anne, and repeated & subscribed the Declaration appointed by the same Act. Also tooke an oath for the due & faithful performance of his duty in the Office and place of Gov'of the sd Province, and the oath by an Act of Parliament made in the seventh and eighth year of the Reign of King William the Third Intituled An act for preventing Frauds and regulating abuses in the Plantation Trade, appointed to be taken
by all Governours or Commanders in Chief of any English Colony or Plantations. .
His Excelley's Commission of Vice Admiral, granted by the Right Honle Thomas Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, Lord high Admiral of England and Ireland, under the great Seal of the Hight Court of Admiralty of England bearing date the twenty sixth day of February 1701. was also shewn forth and published. ...
His Excellency further proposed, that her Majesty's Letters Patent to himselfe as Governour, and his Commissa for vice Admiral and the Hon ble the Lieut' Govts Commission might be made of Record.
Which the Council advised accordingly.2
Early in 1715 a controversy took place between Governor Dudley and the Council as to who should administer the government. When Anne ascended the throne in 1702, a commission became void upon the demise of the Crown. In 1705 the British Parliament passed “An Act for the better Security of her Majesty's Person and Government, and of the Succession to the Crown of England in the Protestant Line” (4 Anne, Chapter VIII). This provided
VIII. . . . nor shall any Office, Place or Imployment, civil or military, within the Kingdoms of England or Ireland, Dominion of Wales, Town of Berwick upon Tweed, Isles of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark, or any of her Majesty's Plantations, become void, by Reason of the Demise or Death of her present Majesty, her Heirs or Successors, Queens or Kings of this Realm; but ... every other Person and Persons in
any of the Offices, Places and Imployments aforesaid, shall continue in their respective Offices, Places and Imployments, for the Space of six Months next after such Death or Demise, unless sooner removed and discharged by the next in Succession, as aforesaid. 4 In 1707 another Act (6 Anne, Chapter VII) of a like tenor was passed. Anne died August 1, 1714; the news of her death reached
1 See p. 53 note 1, above. · Council Records, iii. 322–324, 325.
3 For an exhaustive treatment of this controversy, see our associate Mr. Worthington C. Ford's “The Governor and Council of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, August, 1714 — March, 1715” (2 Proceedings Massachusetts Historical Society, xv. 327-362). See also Mr. Ford's Preface to his reprint (1902) of the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1715.
• Statutes at Large (1735), iv. 11-12.
5 Statutes at Large, iv. 110. In some editions of the Statutes, this Act is 6 Anne, Chapter XLI.
Boston September 15; 2 and George I was proclaimed in Boston September 22.2 On November 22 George I issued “A Proclamation Declaring His Majesties Pleasure for Continuing the Officers in His Majesties Plantations, till his Majesties Pleasure shall be further Declared;" 3 but this proclamation did not reach Boston until March 19, 1715. Meanwhile, however, the six months specified in the Act
1 Boston News Letter, September 20, p. 2/2. The London Gazette of August 3, which contained an account of the death of Anne, reached Boston September 17, and was communicated to the Council by Dudley the same day (Council Records, vi. 251). (A copy of that issue is in a file of the Boston News Letter owned by the Boston Athenaeum, between the issues of September 20 and 27.)
Boston News Letter, September 27, p. 2/2; printed by Mr. Ford in 2 Proceedings Massachusetts Historical Society, xv. 330-332). The following account is taken from the Council Records:
According to the Appointment made upon Friday last the 17. Currant The High & Mighty Prince George Elector of Brunswick Lunenburgh was solemnly proclaimed King of Great Britain France & Ireland Defender of the Faith &" with loud acclamations & the utmost demonstrations of Joy His Excellency the Governour the Lieut Gov' and Council being in the Balcony of the Council Chamber which was hung with Scarlet Cloath The Regiment of the Town & another Regiment of Foot being drawn up under armes on the Parade before the Town House with the Troop of Guards and another Troop of Horse many of the Representatives of the General Assembly, Justices of the Peace, Ministers Gentlemen & Merchants (besides a very great concourse of People) in token of their Joyfull Subjection & Allegiance to His Majesty Imediately after ending the Proclamation the two troops & the regiments of Foot discharged three volleys and on a signal given the Cannon at His Matys Castle William at the Town Batteries & on board the ships & vessells in the Harbour were also discharged, & after a Public Dinner the Governour & Council with a number of Gentlemen & Officers returned in the evening to the Council Chamber & drank a health to His Majestys the Prince all the Royal Family & the Regency & The Town House & particular Houses in several principal streets being finely illuminated.
His Excellency took the Oaths appointed by Act of Parliament, to be taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance & Supremacy, repeated & subscribed the Declaration & took the Oath of Abjuration being administred by the Hon ble Wait Winthrop in presence of the Lieute Governour after which His Excellency administred the same oaths Declaration & Abjuration to his Honour the Lieutt Governour & the other Twenty Councellours present at the Board (vi. 256–257).
& Printed in British Royal Proclamations relating to America, 1603–1783 (Transactions and Collections of the American Antiquarian Society, 1911, xii. 174-175), and in the Boston News Letter of March 28, 1715, p. 1/1.
4 "On the 19th Currant by the Post from New York His Excellency the Governour receiv'd His Majesty's Proclamation for the Continuation of Officers &c. in the Plantations" (Boston News Letter, March 28, 1715, p. 2/2).
of 6 Anne Chapter VII had expired on February 1, 1715. The following proceedings took place in Council on February 3:
Whereas upon the first of this instant, the following message was sent to His Excellency Joseph Dudley Esq' by Samuel Sewall Joseph Lynde Addington Davenport & Thomas Hutchinson Esqis of His Majestys Council, from the Members of the Council then present: which were twelve in number being so many as could be at that time assembled the sd message being in these words. That is to say.
May it please your Excelloy
Whereas the six months given by the Parliament of Great Britain for continu persons in their civil & military offices do expire this day; these are humbly to inquire whither your Excelley has received orders from our Sovereign Lord King George enabling you to sustain the place of Govern" of this Province longer
To which his Excellency was pleased to answer, I have received no orders
Which Message with the answer being now communicated to the Council, & debated & considerd the Question was then put, Whither the Government be devolved on His Majestys Council, according to the Powers granted in the Charter
Which was voted in the affirmative
Whereupon Elisha Hutchinson Em Hutchinson Penn Townsend & Isaac Winslow Esq's were imediately sent to wait upon His Excellency & acquaint him therewth
The Council adjourned unto tomorrow at nine in the morning."
Pursuant to a Vote pass'd yesterday That the Governmt is devolved on His Majestys Council according to the powers granted by the Charter A Proclamation was drawn up in the following words, That is to say.
By the Honourable the Council of His Majestys Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England
A Proclamation Whereas in the Royall Charter granted by King William & Queen Mary for incorporating their subjects of the Colonies enumerated in the sd Charter into one real Province of the name of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, provision is made for the devolution of the Governm upon the Council in these words, That is to say. And we do by these
1 Council Records, vi. 308–309.