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Once more the government devolved on Lieutenant-Governor Phips, who remained Acting Governor from September 25, 1756, to his death on April 4, 1757.1
By the death of Phips the government, for the third and last time in the history of the Province, devolved upon the Council. On April 5 the Council took the following action:
Whereas it hath pleased God in his holy Providence to remove the Honourable Spencer Phips Esqr late Lieutenant Governour and Commander in chief of this Province, by Death, & thereupon the Administration of this Government is devolved on his Majesty's Council in virtue of the Royal Charter —
The Council issued a Proclamation for establishing all Military Officers in their posts until further Order.2
The proclamation thus issued was as follows, copied from the Boston Evening Post of April 11, 1757 (p. 1/2):
Province of the Massachusetts-Bay.
HEREAS it hath pleased GOD in his holy Providence to remove the Honourable SPENCER PHIPS, Esq; late Lieutenant Governour and Commander in Chief of said Province, by Death; and
which is his Excellency Governor Shirley) sail'd from this Port for England. As soon as she got under Sail, his Excellency was saluted with a Discharge of 15 Cannon at Castle William, which was andwerM by a like Number of the Mermaid's Guns" (Boston Evening Post, October 4, p. 1/2).
"Tuesday Morning last His Majesty's Ship Mermaid sail'd from hence for England" (Boston Gazette October 4, p. 2/1).
1 "Last Monday Night died at his Seat in Cambridge, after a few days Illness, the Honourable SPENCER PHIPS, Esq; Lieutenant-Governor and Commander in Chief of this Province, in the 74th Year of his Age; and on Saturday his Corps was very honourably interred, . . ." (Boston Evening Post, April 11, 1757, p. 4/1).
'Council Records, xiii. 212.
thereupon the administration of this Government is devolved on His Majesty's Council in Virtue of the Royal Charter;
WE have therefore thought fit (in Council) to issue this Proclamation; hereby establishing all military Commissions heretofore issued by Lawful Authority, and which have at no Time since been revoked or superceded; and they are hereby established and confirmed to all Intents and Purposes, until further Order; and all Persons commissioned as aforesaid, and all others concern'd, are to govern themselves accordingly.
Given under our Hands at the Council-Chamber in Boston, the
By Order of the Council,
GOD Save the KING.
On April 8 the Council wrote the following letter:
Boston 8th April 1757
May It Please Your Lordships
It is our duty to take the earliest opportunity to advise your Lordships of the Death of the HonbI° Spencer Phips Esqr Lieutenant Governour of the Province who died the 4 Instant
The Governour being at this time out of the Province, a greater share of the Government is now devolved on the Council. We are very sensible that his Majestys Service requires the utmost attention at this important Juncture; and we shall apply ourselves to discharge the duties of your Trust with an answerable Zeal and Diligence We have the Honour to be with very great Respect Your Lordships
Most obedient and
most humble servants
Ezekiel Cheever John Osborne
Joseph Pynchon Benjamin Lynde
Thomas Hutchinson Daniel Russell
The Right Honble the Lords Commissioners for Trade and the Plantations1
The Council administered the government from April 5 to August 3, 1757.
Thomas Pownall was commissioned Governor by George II on February 25, 1757. He reached Boston Harbor August 2,2 and came to Boston and was sworn on August 3:
This Day his Excellency Thomas Pownall Esq' Arrived in the province with his Majesty's Royal Commission appointing him Captain General and Governour in chief of the said Province; And another Commission appointing him Vice Admiral of the same, which were duly published in the Council Chamber; After which his Excellency took the Oaths appointed by Act of Parliament to be taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy repeated & subscribed the Test or Declaration in the said Act contained, together with the Oath of Abjuration,
1 Massachusetts Archives, Ivi. 50.
1 "Tuesday last, in the Afternoon, arrived in Nantasket-Road, from Halifax, his Majesty's Ship Nightingale, Capt. Campbell; in which ship came his Excellency THOMAS POWNALL, Esq; with his Majesty's Royal Commission to be Captain-General, Governor and Commander in Chief in and over this his Majesty's Province of the Massachusetts-Bay; as also a Commission from the Right Honourable the Lords of the Admiralty, to be Vice-Admiral of the same, &c. His Excellency is also Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of New-Jersey, and Agent for His Majesty's General Affair under the Command of Lord LOUDOUN. . . ." (Boston News Letter, August 4, 1757, p. 2/1).
An Oath to do his utmost to Observe and cause to be Observed the several Acts of Parliament now in Force for regulating Trade in the plantations, and an Oath for the due and faithful performance of his Offices.1
Pownall was Governor from August 3, 1757, to June 3, 1760, on which day the following proceedings took place in the House:
£?Ei«uTMicyTMD£ PT^HE Committee appointed to prepare a Resolve parture, 4c _|_ respecting the attending his Excellency, upon his
Read and accepted, and the following Resolve passed,
Whereas the two Houses are informed that his Excellency Governor Pownall, designs this Day to embark for Great Britain:
Resolved, That as a Testimony of their Respect to his Excellency upon his Departure, they wait upon him from the Court-House to the End of the Long Wharffe, and take Leave of him there.
Resolved also, That the Gentlemen of both Houses wait upon his Honour the Lieutenant Governour, upon his Return to the Court House, in order to take the Chair of Government.
Sent up for Concurrence by Col. Clap, Col. Williams, Col. Jones, Mr. Stone, and Col. Waldo? . . .
STeraiiencyG^v- Speaker3 and the House, agreable to the Resolve
emor Pownall, Ac 0f this Morning, waited upon his Excellency Governor Pownall, to the End of the Long Wharffe and after Leave taken —
Mr. Speaker and the House attended his Honour the Lieut. Governour to the Chair.
Who was pleased to make a SPEECH to both Houses: of which Mr. Speaker obtain'd a Copy: And then with the House returned to their own Chamber.
His Honour's SPEECH to both Houses, is as follows, viz.
1 Council Records, xiii. 283. Cf. Crown Commissions, 1628-1663, p. 155. For an account of the two volumes labelled "Crown Commissions, 1628-1663" and "Crown Commissions, 1677-1774," see Publications of this Society, vol. iL p. xvii note 5, p. xviii note 4; and cf. xiv. 397 note.
* House Journal, p. 17. * James Otis.
Gentlemen of the Council, and House of Representatives,
HIS Excellency Governor Pownall, having embarked for Great-Britain, and the Administra"tion being devolved upon me, by virtue of his Majesty's "Commission for Lieut. Governor, I shall endeavour to "improve what Opportunity may be allowed me, in pro"moting his Majesty's Service and the Interest of the "Province:1 . .
Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson was Acting Governor from June 3 to August 2, 1760.
Francis Bernard was commissioned Governor by George II on January 14, 1700; and was again commissioned Governor by George III on April 4, 1761.2 He reached Boston August 2, 1760, on which day he was sworn:
1 House Journal, p. 20. Presumably Hutchinson, on becoming Acting Governor, took the oaths, but no mention of them is made in the Council Records, nor in the Court Records, nor in the Massachusetts Archives. The following extract is taken from the Boston Evening Post of June 9, 1760 (p. 3/1):
T AST Tuesday, about Noon, His Excellency Governor POWNALL, at
tended by His Honor the Lieut. Governor, the Honorable Gentlemen of
His Majesty's Council and House of Representatives, and a great Number of Civil and Military Officers, and other Gentlemen, set out from the CourtHouse in this Town, and being escorted by the Company of Cadets, under Arms, walk'd in Procession, thro' King-Street, down the Long-Wharf, where the CastleBarge lay ready for the Reception of His Excellency: And after receiving the most respectful Salutations, upon his Departure from us, His Excellency was received into the Barge; . . .
After His Excellency's Departure, his Honor the Lieutenant Governor made the following Speech to both Houses, viz. . . .
1 Rumors of the death of George II, which occurred October 25, 1760, reached Boston December 25 and were confirmed December 27. On the latter day Governor Bernard communicated the news to the Council, which "Advised that his Excellency cause his most sacred Majesty King George the Third to be proclaimed on Tuesday the 30th day of December Instant at 12 o'Clock at Noon" (Council Records, xiv. 298). On December 29 the House of Representatives was ordered to attend in the Council Chamber, Bernard made a speech, and the committee appointed "to consider what is proper to be done, on that Occasion" made the following report:
The Committee appointed on his Excellency's Speech of this Afternoon, relative to the Accession of his majesty King George the Third, are of Opinion that his Honour the late Lieutenant Governor Dummer, all officers Civil and Military, who belong to the Town or may be in it; all the Gentlemen of the