Imágenes de páginas

file in the office of the secretary of state at Concord. The commission of George Vaughan as Lieut. Gov. has not been printed. A copy is on file in the office of the secretary of state at Concord. Consult Farmer's Belknap Ch. XI. and XII.


Col. Elizeus Burges was appointed governor of the province February 8, 1715, but resigned the office the same year for a consideration, as already stated, without coming to New England. A copy of his commission and instructions is in the files of the secretary of state at Concord but they have never been printed.



Governor Shute's commission was dated May 10, 1716. He assumed office in New Hampshire October 17, the same year. His personal administration continued until June 1, 1723, when he returned to England, never afterwards coming back to his governments in New England. He had no successor in the Governorship until Governor William Burnet, who was appointed in the spring of 1728, assumed the office in the latter part of the same year. George Vaughan was Lieut. Governor in the first part of Gov. Shute's administration. John Wentworth was appointed Lieut. Governor September 12th, 1717 and assumed office Dec. 7th 1717. He was the sole administrator from the departure of Governor Shute for home in 1723 till the coming of Governor Burnet into the Province late in 1728. The commission and instructions of Governor Shute are on file in mss. in the office of the Secretary of State at Concord. The commission of Lieut. Governor Wentworth is also on file, and it has been printed in 2 Bouton's W. H. Province Papers 712. Consult Farmer's Belknap Ch. XIII. and XIV. In this administration a permanent constitutional change was effected by an act of the Gen'l Assembly confirmed by the home government. This was the provision for the continuance of each General Assembly for a term of three years. There was no change in this system until the end of the province government. Farmer's Belknap, p. 221.

THE COMMISSION AND ADMINISTRATION OF WILLIAM BURNET, 1728, 1729 The Commission of Governor Burnet is dated

1728. He died at Cambridge Massachusetts Sept. 7, 1729. His commission and instructions for New Ilampshire are on file at the office of the Secretary of State at Concord. On the 24th of April, 1728, the announcement of a new commission to Lieut. Governor Wentworth was made in the House of Representatives. The Commission and instructions of Governor Burnet have not been printed. The first Commission of Lt. Governor Wentworth is printed as above stated; the second is not. Consult Farmer's Belknap. Ch. XV.



The Commission of Jonathan Belcher as Governor for New Hampshire was dated December 11, 1729. He assumed oflice August 26,

72.12– VOL 3-07-15

1730. He was the last incumbent of both the Governorship of New llampshire and that of Massachusetts. He was succeeded in New Hampshire by Benning Wentworth who assumed office Dec. 12, 1741. John Wentworth continued in oflice as Lieut. Gov. in the first part of this administration. He was succeeded by David Dunbar whose commission was dated and who assumed office

Ile appears to have continued in commission during Governor Belcher's term of office. His relations with the Governor were such however that he was permitted little opportunity to act officially in the latter's stead. The Commission and instructions of Governor Belcher are on file in the office of the Secretary of State at Concord, but they have not been printed. The Commission of Lient. Gov. Dunbar is also on file in the Secretary's office but it has never been printed. Consult Farmer's Belknap, (h. XVI, XVII, and XVIII. In this administration there were serious differences between the Governor and a part of his ('ouncil involving among other things his prerogative as to suspension of councillors from office. There was such a serious breach between him and the House of Representatives also that the business of legislation was suspended for long periods. The House practically assumed the exercise of functions of government irrespective of the concurrence of the Governor and Council especially with reference to subjects related to the boundary line controversy. It is not impossible that this attitude of the Ilouse was viewed with a degree of complacency in the home government if it did not receive active encouragement from that source. The Governor also made some progress in this period in ascertaining the legal rights and relations of the Lieut. Governor in respect to the assumption of powers of government by him when the Governor was not personally present in the province. Either by express instructions from the home government or otherwise the Governor's contention seems to have been successful.



Benning Wentworth was commissioned June 4, 1711, and assumed oflice December 13, 1741. Subsequent to the Administration of Samuel Alien, which terminated in 1699, this was the first Commission for the Governorship of New Hampshire issued to one who was not to be Governor of Massachusetts also. Ile was a son of John Wentworth, the former Lieut. Gov., and was succeeded by his nephew John Wentworth who was commissioned August 11, 1766 and assumed office July 30, 1707. John Temple was appointed Lieut. Gov. in the time of Benning Wentworth's encumbency of the Governorship. Benning Wentworth's commission and instructions are on file in the office of the Secretary of State at Concord. They have liever been printed. Consult Farmer's Belknap Ch. XIX.-XXIII. inc. I long and determined contest took place between the Governor and his ('ouncil on the one part and the Assembly on the other over two Constitutional questions, the first being whether it was within the Governor's prerogative to veto the election of a speaker by the Ilouse of Representatives, and the second being whether it was the prerogative of the Governor or the General Assembly to authorize newly constituted constituencies to send representatives. This conflict prevented the enactment of any legislation during the entire term of one General Assembly. The next General Assembly did not raise the issue over the Governor's warrants to the new constituencies in question for the election of representatives, and the Governor did not assert the prerogative that he claimed as to the rejection of a speaker chosen by the House. The Governor procured additional instructions from the home government but while he seems to have sustained his position to a certain extent the points in issue were not definitely determined. Farmer's Belknap, Chap. XXI.



John Wentworth's commission as Governor of New Hampshire was dated August 11, 1766. He assumed office July 30, 1767. He was the last royal Governor for the province. His administration ended with his departure on the English warship Scarborough from Portsmouth August 24, 1775. His commission and instructions are on file in the office of the Secretary of State at Concord. His commission as Governor is printed in the edition of the province laws of 1771 (second paper in the book) and his commission as Admiral appears in the same volume (third paper in the book.) Consult Farmer's Belknap, Ch. XXIV.

Near the close of his administration the right of the Governor to empower new constituencies to elect representatives to the General Assembly was brought in issue but for obvious reasons it was not possible for him to contest the issue with that persistence which characterized the attitude of Benning Wentworth on the same subject. Farmer's Belknap, p. 357.

The commission and instructions of John Wentworth complete a series of documents which contain the written constitutions accorded to this province by the Crown from its organization under John Cutt in 1680 to 1775. Apart from the exceptional conditions which existed between the termination of the Cranfield government in 1686 and the restoration of the separate province government in 1692 the development of what may be considered as the organic law of the province proceeded on natural and logical lines from the beginning to the end. The sequence of commissions and instructions which embodied this fundamental law of course in one sense lacked the element of permanency. Yet the modifications of the system were for the most part neither violent nor radical. They would be regarded in the retrospect as such as the changing conditions and necessities of the people and province would make necessary. Beyond this, however, was the ever present supervisory authority of the home government with its own policies interests and purposes impressed upon the substance of the commissions and instructions as they were promulgated from time to time during this period of almost a century in the constitutional development of the province.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »