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presents for us our heirs & successors constitute and ordain that when & as often as the Gov' and Lieut' or Deputy Governour of our sd Province or Territory, for the time being shall happen to dye or be displaced by us, our heirs or successors or be absent from our sd Province & that there shall be no person within the sd Province commissionated by us our heirs or successors to be Governour within the same, Then & in every of the sd cases, the Council or Assistants of our sd Province shall have full Power and Authority; & we do hereby give & grant unto the said Council or Assistants of our sd Province for the time being or the major part of them, full power and authority to do & execute all and every such Acts Matters & things which the gd governour or Lieutenant or Deputy Governour of our sd Province or Territory for the time being might or could lawfully do or exercise if they or either of them were personally present until the return of the Governour or Lieut' or Deputy Governour so absent, or arrival or constitution of such other Governour or lieut or deputy Governour as shall & may be appointed by us our heirs & successors from time to time.
And Whereas the six months from the demise of Her late Majesty Queen Anne limited by the Parliament of Great Britain, for continuing civil & military officers in their respective offices places & imployments, expired the first day of this instant February. And Whereas by reason that there is no person within the sd Province comissionatd by our Soveraign Lord King George, to be Governor within the same; the Government is now devolved upon the Council, & they are obliged to undertake the administration thereof in obedience to the constitution of the sd Charter, & for the welfare & safety of His Majestys subjects within this Province until His Majestys further pleasure be known.
Pursuant therefore unto the power & authority to us granted as aforesaid We have thought fit & necessary to issue & publish this Proclamation & We do in His Majestys name require all officers civil & military within this Province, that have qualified themselves by taking the Oaths appointed in & by the aforesaid Act of Parliament, to attend the duty, & use & exercise the powers & authorities to their respective offices places & employments belonging
Until further order, And all His Majestys loving subjects are required in His Matys behalfe to be aiding helping & assisting at the commandment of the sd officers in the discharge of the duty of their respective places & employments, as they & every of them tender His Majestys displeasure and will answer their neglect at their peril
Given at the Council Chamber in Boston the fourth day of
George, by the grace of God of Great Britain France and
Esq's Penn Townsend
God save the King Wait Winthrop Esq* 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 & then administered the same to the rest of the Councellours present at the Board
After which at the motion of the Secretary upon the question put, The Council declared their opinion that the Secretarys Commission remained in force, having been so accepted during all the last reign & ordered him to countersign the Proclamat" and the sd Proclamation was then published by beat of Drum sent to the Press & ordered to be dispersed into the several parts
An Oath being digested of the Tenour following was taken by all the Members present this day at the Board absent then only Andrew Belcher Esq? That
is to say
Whereas for the present untill His Majestys pleasure be further known by the devolution of the Government according to the Royall Charter, full power & authority is granted to the Council of this His Majestys Province to do & execute all & every such Acts Matters & things which the Governour of this Province for the time being might or could lawfully do or execute, if he were personally present
You swear that you will well and truly discharge that trust accordingly, to the utmost of your power
So help you God ? 1 This proclamation was issued as a printed broadside and was reproduced in facsimile by Mr. Ford (2 Proceedings Massachusetts Historical Society, xv. 326– 327).
Council Records, vi. 309-313.
The King's proclamation of November 22, 1714, having, as already stated,' reached Boston on March 19, 1715, on March 21
His Excellency communicated to the Council a Proclamation by the King for continuing of all officers Civil & Military in being at the time of the demise of the late Queen, in their respective offices places & imployments till further order which was first read in the Council Chamber a great number of the principal Gentlemen of the Country being present and then His Excellency the Governour, the Lieutenant Governour & Council removing into the Balcony of the Council Chamber the same was again read there the Governours Guard & three other Troops of Horse of Suffolk & Middlesex & a great concourse of people attending immediately after ending the Proclamation the People gave three Huzzas, the Troops discharged three volleys & the Cannon at His Majesty's Castle William, at the Town Batterie & on board His Matys Ships Pheenix were also discharged 2
The government, thus reassumed by Dudley, was retained by him until November 9, 1715, though not without a challenge from Lieutenant-Governor Tailer, as will presently be seen.
ELIZEUS BURGES was commissioned Governor by George I on March 17, 1715. The news of his appointment reached Boston
i See p. 56, above.
: For a sketch of Burges, about whom little is known, see Publications of this Society, xiv. 360–372, 389 note 1. For the following information, received too late for insertion at the above reference, I am indebted to Mr. Horatio F. Brown of Venice. The dates of Burges's services as “Secretary Resident” are: First, date of credentials, May 8-9, 1719; arrival in Venice, October, 1719; letter of recall, October 31, 1721; departure from Venice, March, 1722. Second, date of credentials, October 25, 1727; arrival in Venice, December 18, 1728. Among the “Inscriptions to English Families in the Old Protestant Cemetery near San Niccolo del Lido, Venice," is the following (Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, Second Series, 1885, i. 347):
VIXIT ANNOS LXIX.
April 21. On April 28 a new Commission was issued to Tailer as Lieutenant-Governor. On June 29 Burges wrote to the Council a letter in which he said:
The K. has done me the Honor to make me his Governour of the Provinces of the Massachusets Bay, and N-Hampshire in N. England, and I think I cañot find a fitter opportunity than this to acquaint you with His Maj's Goodness to me. . . . I propose to leave this place the latter end of the next Moneth, and hope to be with you before the end of September. While I continue here, I will do all I can for your Service; and when I have the Honor to see you at Boston, I will give you all the Assurances you your selves can desire, that have nothing so much at heart, as the Good of the people, and the Glory of GOD.
On September 6 Burges wrote a second letter, saying:
I had the Honor to write to you by Mr. Secretary Woodward, and told you then that I had hopes of seeing you at Boston before the end of this Moneth; but since my Affairs in this Country are like to keep me here most part of the Winter, and I am not to be so happy so soon as I expected, It is fit I should let you know it; and beg you will send me your Commands, that I may not be altogether useless to you, though I'm but may
do you all the Service I can here, as an Earnest of what I intend when I have the honor to be among you. I have sent you over an Exemplification of my Commission, by which you will see that Col. Dudley's Commission is vacated, and that the Government does necessarily devolve upon Colonel Tailer during my absence. Thus I understand it; but leave it to your greater Wisdom to determin that matter, as you shall see fitting, and think most for His Majesties Honor, and the Interest of your Country.3
On September 22 Samuel Woodward, the new Secretary, reached Boston, bringing with him Burges's letter of June 29, his own Commission as Secretary, and the Commission of Tailer as LieutenantGovernor. On September 24
Upon reading His Majestys Comission to Lieutt Governour Tailer dated the 28th day of April 1715 put to the Question, Whither the Coun
1 Sewall's Diary, iii. 46.
: Sewall's Letter-Book, ii. 49–50. The originals of these two letters have not been preserved, but Sewall copied them on November 25, 1715.
• See p. 100, below.
cil are of opinion that the Governm of this Province be thereby devolved upon him, the Commission and Instructions given by His Majesty to His Excellency Colo Burges being not here nor any copy thereof yet arrived in this Province by which the Government is to be administered
Pass'd in the Negative unanimously."
On November 9 Nathaniel Byfield, who had been in England, reached Boston, bringing with him the Exemplification of Burges's Commission which Burges, in his letter of September 6, said had been sent. Thereupon, the same day, —
An Exemplification 3 of His Majestys.most gracious Letters Patents constituting & appointing Elizeus Burges Esq' Capto General & Governour in chief in & over His Majestys Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England being presented was ordered to be forthwith read &
in New England was done according so his Commissione to the Colonies
And the Honble William Tailer Esq? his Commission as Lieutt Govi was again read & publish'd and he took the oath referring to the Colonies and Plantations as directed by Act of Parliament he having taken all the other oaths at the former publication of his Commission & the Councellors present were all duly sworn &
Advised & consented That a Proclamat" for continuing all officers civil & military in their respective offices till further order should be forthwth printed & published which was signed in Council accordingly.
Thus the purpose of sending over the Exemplification of Burges's Commission was accomplished, and Dudley's long term of office came to an end. * Lieutenant-Governor Tailer was acting Governor from November 9, 1715, to October 5, 1716.
In spite of repeated rumors 5 of his being about to sail, Colonel Burges resigned his Commission and never came to this country.
i Council Records, vi. 379–380.
Sewall's Diary, üi. 65; Boston News Letter, November 14, p. 2/2.
3 This Exemplification is in the library of the Massachusetts Historical Society: see Publications of this Society, ii. 100 note 1. Cf. p. 53 note 1, above.
* Council Records, vi. 389–390.
6 As late as May 31, 1716, in a speech to the House, Lieutenant-Governor Tailer said he believed that Burges “would before this Time have happily Arrived among us, and I am well assured he may be daily expected” (House Journal, p. 3). The news of Shute's appointment, which was made in April, reached Boston June 5