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The Signal being given at the Castle on Saturday Evening last that His Excellency Jona Belcher Esq' was arrived at the entrance of Boston Harbour, divers Gentlemen ... waited on him on Board . . . the Blanford, and this morning ... attended His Excellency on board ... said ship ...
His Excellency with the other Gentlemen being entered the Council Chamber & the Doors set open, Proclamation was made that all Persons keep silence while His Majestys Commissions are in reading.
And then the Secretary with an audible voice read His Majestys Commission or Letters Patents bearing date at Westminster the
1730 appointing His Excellency Jonathan Belcher Esq" Captain Gen' & Gov' in Chief in and over His Majestys Province of the Massachusetts Bay, as also His Majestys Commission dated in London the
1730, appointing His said Excellency Vice Admiral of the sd Province of the Massachusetts Bay & New Hampshire.
His Excellency thereupon took the Oaths appointed by Act of Parliament to be taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance & Supremacy, repeated & subscribed the Test or Declaration in the said Act together with the Oath of Abjuration, & took an Oath for the true and faithfull discharge of his said Office of Capt" General and Gov: in Chief of the sd Province of the Massachusetts Bay.
His Excellency likewise took an oath that he would do the utmost in his power that all & every the clauses matters & things contained in an Act of Parliam pass'd in the twelfth year of King Charles the second, entituled an Act for encouraging and increasing shipping & navigation & in all other Acts since made and now in force relating to this Colony or Plantation, more particularly in an act made and passed in the seventh
BELCHER Esq; who is appointed Governour and Commander in Chief in and over His Majesty's Provinces of the Massachusetts-Bay and New-Hampshire, in NewEngland; and that His Excellency intended speedily to proceed for his Government in one of His Majesty's Ships of War (p. 2/2).
The same paper of August 11 said:
On Saturday last, about the middle of the Afternoon, we were notified by a Signal from Castle William, of the near Approach of His Excellency Governour BELCHER, in His Majesties Ship of War, appointed for his Transportation; which could reach no further that Night, than the Mouth or Entrance of the Narrows. ... The usual Services of the Sabbath were attended by his Excellency at the Castle, . . . At the opening of the following Day, was the Town of Boston in a voluntary Alarm, . . . (p. 1/1).
& eighth years of the reign of King William the third entituled An Act for prevents of frauds & regulating of abuses in the Plantation Trade be punctually & Bonâ Fide observed accordg. to the true intent & meaning thereof. which Oaths were taken in the presence of ye Honble ye Lieutt Gov' & Council.1
Belcher was Governor from August 10, 1730, to August 14, 1741.
WILLIAM SHIRLEY was commissioned Governor by George II on May 25, 1741. The following extract is taken from the Boston News Letter of August 13:
This Morning Capt. Tyng, in our Province Snow, return'd hither from a Cruize; Yesterday Evening he came up with the Mast-Ship, Capt. Noble, off of Boon-Island, bound in to Piscataqua: The said Ship having on board His Majesty's Royal Commission constituting and appointing the Hon. WILLIAM SHIRLEY, Esq; Captain General and Governour in and over this Province, the said Commission was put on board Capt. Tyng, by whom it was brought hither. And we hear it will be publickly open'd to-morrow, when the Militia of this Town are to be under Arms: And Preparations are making for celebrating the Day in a loyal manner, suitable to the high Occasion (p. 2/2).
On August 14 the following proceedings took place in Council:
Memorandum — Upon Thursday the thirteenth of August 1741, His Majestys Comission appointing William Shirley Esq' Captain General and Governor in Chief of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay being arrived from Great Britain, And
Fryday the 14th of said month being appointed for the Publication thereof - About eleven aclock in the Fore Noon, he was attended at his own house in Boston by the Members of both Houses of Assembly, His Majestys Justices and a number of other Officers and gentlemen, and with them he went a foot towards the Court House, the Town Regiment of Militia and the Troop of Guards being drawn up between the Province House and the Court House, And as he passed by the Gate to the Province House, His Excelley Jono Belcher Esq' & the Honble Spencer Phips Esq' the Lieutt Governor joined him, and they walked together, attended by the Members of both Housés, Officers and Gentlemen, as above mentioned, to the Court House, the Regiment and Troop of Guards
1 Council Records, ix. 227–228.
saluting the new appointed Governor as he pass'd, and being entered
The Doors were set open; And Proclamat' was made that all Persons keep silence while His Majestys Commission is in Reading;
And then the Secretary with an audible voice, read His Majestys Commission or Letters Patent bearing date at Westminster the 25th day of May 1741. appointing His Excelley William Shirley Esq' Captain General and Gov' in Chief in and over His Majestys Province of the Massachusetts Bay.
Present in Council.
The Honble the Lieutt Gove
His Excelleys Commission being read as above mentioned, he took the Oaths appointed to be taken by an act pass'd in the first year of His late Majestys Reign, entituled an Act for ye further Security of His Majestys Person and Government & the succession of the Crown in the Heirs of the late Princess Sophia being Protestants, and for extinguish the Hopes of the pretended Prince of Wales & his open and secret Abettors; And he also made & subscribed the Declaration mentioned in an Act of Parliament made in ye
year of the Reign of King Charles the Second, entitled An Act for preventing dangers whch may happen from Popish Recusants; and likewise took an Oath for the due execution of the Office and trust of His Majestys Captain General & Governor in Chief in and over the said Province, as well with regard to the due administration of Justice as otherwise, And His Excelley likewise took an oath that he would do yo utmost in his Power that all and every the clauses, matt's, and things contained in an act of Parliam passed in the twelfth year of the Reign of King Charles ye Second, entitled An Act for encouraging & increasing shipping and Navigation & in all other Acts since made and now in force relating to this Colony or Plantation, more particularly in an Act made and pass'd in the seventh and eighth years of the Reign of King William ye Third, entitled An Act for preventing of Frauds and regulating of abuses in the Plantation Trade, be punctually and Bonâ Fide observed, according to the true intent and meaning thereof; Which Oaths were taken in the Presence of the Hon ble the Lieut Governor and Council.
And then His Excelloy with the Advice of yo Council issued a Proclamation for the continuance of all Officers Civil and Military in the exercise of their respective Offices until further Order.
Which Proclamation was published out of the Balcony of the Council Chamber, & was followed with the discharge of the Cannon at the Castles, Batteries and Ships, & Volleys from the Regiment & Troop of Guards under arms:
After which His Escelloy dined in Publick wth the late Governor, Lieutt Gov' and Council, and the other Officers and Gentlemen, An Entertainmt having been provided by order of the Governmt 1
Upon the departure of Governor Shirley for England on September 11, 1749, the government devolved on Lieutenant-Governor Spencer Phips; and on September 15 - .
His Excellency William Shirley Esq? Captain General & Governour in Chief of his Province, having on Monday last Embarked for Great Britain, & the Administration of the Government thereupon devolving upon the Honble Spencer Phips Esq' as Lieuten Governour & Commander in Chief in the Governour's Absence.
His Honour this Day in the presence of his Majesty's Council, took the Oaths appointed by Act of Parliamt to be taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance & Supremacy, repeated & subscribed the Test or Declaration in the said Act contain'd, together with the Oath of Abjuration, & took an Oath for the faithful Discharge of his Office of Lieutent Governour & Commander in Chief of this Province, And also took an Oath that he would do the utmost in his Power, that all & every the Clauses, Matters & Things contained in Act of Parliament pass'd in the twelfth Year of the Reign of King Charles the second, entitled an Act for the encouraging & increasing Shipping & Navigation, & in all others Acts since made & now in Force relating to the Colony & Plantation, & more particularly, An Act pass'd in the seventh & eighth Year of the Reign of King William the Third, entitled an Act for preventing Frauds & regulating Abuses in the Plantations, be punctually & bonâ Fide observed, according to the true Intent & Meaning thereof.
1 Council Records, x. 533-536. ? Error for “this” or “his Majesty's.” 3 Council Records, xii. 122.
Phips was Acting Governor from September 15, 1749, to August 7, 1753, when Governor Shirley returned. Having been recalled to England, Shirley left Boston on September 25, 1756, and never came back as Governor. The following extract is taken from the Boston Gazette of September 27, 1756:
Last Saturday at 12 o'Clock, his Excellency William Shirley, Esq; went from the Council Chamber to the End of the Long Wharfe, where the Castle Barge was waiting to receive him — His Excellency preceeded by the Company of Cadets, and the Officers of the Militia, and followed by such of the Gentlemen of the Council and House as were then in Town, together with a Number of Gentlemen of Distinction - After receiving the Compliments of the Company, the Barge put off from the Wharfe, when He was saluted by a Discharge of the Guns of the several Batteries in this Town and Charlestown, and with the Castle Guns as he past by it; and in a short Time the Barge was along Side of the Mermaid Man of War, in which His Excellency embarks for England. A fair Wind offer'd for her Sailing Yesterday, but we cannot yet presume to determine when she will Sail, having been so often out in Times past on that Head (p. 2/1).
1 The following extracts are taken from the Boston Gazette of Tuesday, August 14 and September 11, 1753:
On Tuesday last, in the Afternoon, his Excellency our Governor arrived from England, in his Majesty's Ship Port-Mahon, under the Command of Capt. Montague, ... About five o'Clock his Excellency went ... to Castle William, ... The Day following his Excellency remained at the Castle; and on Thursday he came up in the Castle Barge (August 14, p. 3/1).
On Saturday last His Excellency the Governour did the Proprietors of PullinPoint the Honour of dining with them at the said Point, where a very elegant Entertainment was prepar'd for him; ... The Proprietors, after taking Leave from His Excellency, gave it the Name of Point-Shirley (September 11, p. 3/2).
3 "Thursday last arrived here from Halifax, his Majesty's Ship Mermaid, the Hon. WASHINGTON SHIRLEY Esq; Commander" (Boston News Letter, August 19, 1756, p. 4/1).
"His Majesty's Ship Mermaid, Captain Washington Shirley, still abides in our Harbour" (Boston Gazette, September 20, p. 2/1).
“On Saturday last His Excellency embarked on board His Majesty's Ship Mermaid, Washington Shirley, Esq; Commander. . . . And,
“About four o'Clock in the Afternoon on Monday last the Mermaid (as also the Schooner employed as a Tender) got under Sail, when she saluted CastleWilliam, which was returned by the Discharge of the Cannon there, and then proceeded on her Voyage with a fair Wind; which has continued ever since" (Boston News Letter, September 30, p. 1/2).
"Monday last, in the Afternoon, his Majesty's Ship Mermaid (on board of