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SAMUEL SHUTE was commissioned Governor by George I on June 15, 1716. He reached Boston Harbor October 4, and was sworn
(Sewall's Diary, iii. 85). The following notice appeared in the Boston News Letter of June 11:
By Letters from London of April 12th we are informed that His Excellency Col. Elizeus Burges Esq; Governour of this Province had resign'd his Office.
And by Letters and Prints we are also inform'd that His Majesty has been pleased to appoint His Excellency Col. Samuel Shute, Esq; a very worthy Gentleman, and Brother to Mr. Barrington Shute Esq; Member of Parliament for Berwick, to be Governour of New-England (p. 2/1).
The following letter written by J. Dummer to J. White, but signed by Dummer and Belcher, is copied from the original in the Massachusetts Historical Society (161.J.16): DEAR SR
I am now Sitting on one Side of his Excelley Colo Shute, & M' Belcher on the Other side with all the Principal Merchts & Traders to New England at the Table. We have din'd, & are now drinking a Sober glass to the Prosperity of New England, & the Worthy Gentlemen there, & you may be Sure you can't be forgot among them, especially when M Belcher & I are present. Every Merchant is pleas'd with your New Governour, & you'l certainly be the happyest people in the World under his Easy Administration I cant enlarge for the reason above. I am Y' Very humble sert
JON BELCHER London 30th Apr: 1716
1 The original of Shute's Commission of June 15, 1716, is in the Harvard College Library (Cab.E.Dr.1). It is written on two sheets of parchment and has the seal appended, though this is now broken and a part missing, and is enclosed in a wooden box covered with stamped leather. It came to the College Library in 1862 as a bequest from Gen. William H. Sumner of the Class of 1799. A portion is reproduced in facsimile in the Memorial History of Boston, ii. 50. Cf. p. 53 note 1, above. On the back of the Commission is the following entry:
Entred in the Secretary's
Office in Boston October
the 5th 1716.
Jos: Marion Depy Sects This entry confirms a statement made by the present writer that there was formerly a volume of Crown Commissions which was burned in 1747 (Publications of this Society, vol. ii. p. xviii and note 4; xiv. 397–398 note 1). See also p. 55, above, and pp. 70, 81 note 1, 101, below.
2 Under date of Octob' 3," 1716, Sewall wrote: while they were here, just about Sunset, we hear a Gun which proves a Signal of the Governour's being come” (Diary, iii. 105). A careful examination of the entry under this date shows that it must have been written on “lecture-day” – that is, on Thursday, October 4. As Sewall is so often relied on for exact dates,
October 5. As the Council Records from September 11, 1716, to September 5, 1717, both included, are not extant, the following account of the proceedings is taken from the Boston News Letter of October 8, 1716: Boston, N
and Satisfaction of all His Majesty's Good Subjects here) Arrived His Excellency SAMUEL SHUTE Esq; Captain I have in several cases pointed out errors, some due (as in this case) to his own carelessness, some due to the fact that entries were actually written later than the dates assigned, and some due (as on p. 53 note, above) to the carelessness of his editors. See Publications of this Society, xiv. 361 note 2, for an instance where Sewall wrote “Feb. 13," 1716, when he meant to write “ April 13.”
· The original Council Records from 1692 to 1747 were practically all destroyed in the fire which devastated the Boston Town House on December 9, 1747 (see Publications of this Society, vol. č. p. xix note 1), and the Records for those years now at the State House are copies obtained from London. But even in London there are no copies of the Records for the period specified in the text September 11, 1716, to September 5, 1717; Miss Drucker informing me that "32 pages are missing in the volume which should contain them at that date." A copy of the following letter is in the Council Records (xi. 765–766): SIR
Boston November 1. 1748. By William Shirley Jun" Esquire, who embarks for Great Britain on board one of the Mast ships now bound home, I send you Copies of the Proceedings of the General Court, from the beginning of March 1746, to the end of the Session begun and held May 25. 1748; with the Acts pass'd in those Sessions, certified under the Seal of the Province; as also Copies of the Minutes of Council from December 1747 to the end of August 1748. The Minutes of the Assembly, and the Laws, are a continuation of what were sent you home by his Majty's Ship the Mermaid in the Summer 1747, without any interruption, the General Court Book for that time being accidentally saved out of the Fire when the Court House was burnt; but the Council Book being then destroyed, the Minutes of Council, now sent you, begin after the time of that fire. You will please to lay these Papers before the Lords Commissioners as usual. I shall acknowledge it as a great favour if you will please to send me one line to let me know of your receiving these Papers when they come to your hands.
I am, with due respect
Your very humble Servant (Superscribed)
(signed) JOSIAH WILLARD. On His Majestys Service. To Thomas Hill Esq" Secretary to the Right Hon The Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.
General and Governour in Chief, in and over His Majesties Provinces of the Massachusetts-Bay and New-Hampshire in New-England, &c. on Board the Lusitania, and was first met and welcomed by the Honourable William Dummer, Esq; with other Gentlemen in Company, and quickly afterwards waited on by the Representatives of the Town of Boston, and several other Gentlemen: but it being late at Night, and the Ship at some distance from the Town, His Excellency was pleas'd to defer his Landing till the next Morning; proving a pleasant fair Day, when His Excellency was early attended by a Committee of the General Assembly, consisting of several Members of His Majesties Council, and the House of Representatives, with several other Gentlemen & Officers. About Nine a Clock His Excellency in coming up to Town was first Saluted by His Majesties Castle William, and afterwards by His Majesty's Ship of War the Rose, the Batteries of the Town, the Ships and Vessels in the Harbour, by the Discharge of a great Number of Guns, and their Enseigns displayed. About Ten of the Clock His Excellency Landed at the End of the Pier or Wharff at King-Street, where the Hon. Col. William Tailer, Esq; the late Lieutenant Governour, &c. with a Number of His Majesty's Council, Justices of the Peace, and other Gentlemen and Merchants, received His Excellency, and attended him thro' a great Concourse of People, up to the End of King-Street, where His Excellency was received and Saluted by his own Troop of Guards, and after that by the Regiment of the Town, under their Arms, and at the Town House Stairs the Honourable the late Governour Dudley, being attended by the President 1 of Harvard-Colledge in Cambridge, with the Ministers of the Town of Boston, and the Neighbouring Towns, Congratulated His Excellency's safe Arrival, and accompanied him up to the Council-Chamber, where His Majesty's Royal Commission to His Excellency for the Government of this Province, (As also a Commission to the Honourable William Dummer Esq; for Lieut. Governour) was Published and Solemnized with great Acclamations of Joy, and the Regiments Discharge of Three Volleys. Upon this happy Occasion, there came in also a Troop of Horse, and Five Companies of Foot, belonging to the South Regiment of Suffolk, and a greater Number had attended, but that His Excellency was pleased to signify his Pleasure against it. Between One and Two a Clock His Excellency was Publickly Entertained at Dinner, in Company with His Majesty's Council, with the Speaker 2 and many of the House of Representatives, and a great Number of other Gentlemen, Officers, &c. The Joy and Satisfaction of His Majesty's good People of this Country was so much the greater upon this Occasion, because of some Fears we had 1 John Leverett.
2 John Burrill.
been under; a Ship being Arrived Ten Days ago from London, that came out Sixteen Days after His Excellency: Besides some Advice from the Eastward of Wrecks upon the Coast. Soon after the Publishing His Excellency's Commission, a Proclamation as usual, was issued for the Continuation of all Officers both Civil and Military, till further Order. His Excellency was pleased to take his Lodgings at Mr. Dudley's till the Province House could be fitted for his Reception, which will be in a few Days (p. 2/1).
Late in 1722 Shute determined to go to England. The following proceedings took place in the House on December 28:
A Message by Samuel Sewall, Penn Townsend, and Addington Darenport Esqrs; viz. His Honour the Lieut. Governour having by his Excellency's direction acquainted the Board, That His Excellency the Governour is Embarked on board His Majesty's Ship Sea-Horse Capt. Durell Commander at Nantasket, and designs to return early in the Fall. And the Board thinking it a Matter of Importance, have sent to inform the Honourable House thereof.
Post Meridiem. Ordered, That Mr. Remington, Mr. Fullam, and Mr. Dudley go up to the Board, and Desire of His Honour the Lieut Governour, that if he has any Advice from His Excellency, of his intended Voyage, he would be pleased to communicate it to the House.
A Message by Mr. Secretary, His Honour the Lieut. Governour has ordered me to acquaint this Honourable House, That he has no farther Advice of His Excellency's intended Voyage, than that he is embarked on Board His Majesty's Ship Sea-Horse, and that he designs, if GOD please, to return early in the Fall.2
The House being Informed this Morning in a Message by Samuel Sewall, Penn Townsend and Addington Davenport, Esqrs; That His Honour the Lieut. Governour having by His Excellency's Direction acquainted the Board, that His Excellency the Governour is embarked on Board His Majesty's Ship Sea-Horse, Capt. Durell Commander at Nantasket, and designs to return early in the Fall. And the Board thinking it a matter of Importance, sent to inform the Honourable House thereof. Which is a very great surprize, and gives this House just ground to suppose, That upon His Excellency's Arrival at the Court of GreatBritain, (if bound there) he may endeavour to Charge this House in
attempting to encroach upon the Royal Prerogative, or coming into some things they had not a Right to, by their present happy Constitution. Therefore,
Resolved, That Mr. Cooke, Mr. Dudley, Mr. Chandler, Mr. Clarke, and Mr. Wainwright, be a Committee forthwith to prepare and lay before this House, what they think proper in this critical Juncture for the House to do, in their Just and necessary Vindication at the Court at Home.1
The following notice appeared in the Boston Gazette of December 31:
His Excellency our Governour having been pleased to Communicate to the Honourable Lieutenant Governour, His Majesty's Leave of Absence, and delivered over to him all His Majesty's Royal Instructions for the management of the Government agreeable to the Royal Charter, and wrote the Lieutenant Governour a Letter to be Communicated to His Majesty's Council; His Excellency imbark'd On Thursday last on board His Majesty's Ship Sea-horse at Nantascot in order to pass by way of the West Indies to Great Britain, but the Weather not inviting to Sail, the Owners of the Ship Ann, Capt. Finch Master (bound for Great Britain) got the said Ship ready with all possible dispatch, and ordering her yesterday from this Harbour to Nantascot, waited on His Excellency and prayed Him to take his passage on board her, which His Excellency kindly accepted, and Sails the first Wind, designing (by GOD's permission) to return to Us Early the next Fall (p. 2/2).2
1 House Journal, p. 55.
The following letter was printed in the New England Courant of January 14, 1723 (p. 2):
Praestat esse Prometheus quam Epimetheus.
To the Author of the New-England Courant. SIR "He unprecedented and extraordinary Manner of Governour Shute's absent
ing himself from this Government, and embarking for England, has occasion'd much Discourse and various Sentiments, which we shall not now go about to recapitulate, but shall only mention what we conceive must be naturally concluded, viz. That any Governour departing from a Government with so much Privacy and Displeasure, can't reasonably be supposed to promote the Interest of that Government, when he arrives at the British Court: And therefore we may venture to say, that in general it is the opinion of the Freeholders, &c. of this Province, That it is essentially necessary for the Good and Welfare of the People here, at this critical Juncture, that two Gentlemen at least, Persons born among us, of known Abilities and Address, be, as soon as possible, sent to the Court of Great Britain, altho' this Province should be at the Charge of hiring a small Vessel on purpose, (seeing Delays are dangerous,) there to vindicate the Proceedings of the Honourable House of Representatives from