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[144] said he,1 ‘exert your utmost influence to prevail
Chap. Xxxiii} 1768. April.
upon the Assembly of your Province to take no notice of it, which will be treating it with the contempt it deserves.—If they give any countenance to this seditious paper, it will be your duty to prevent any proceedings upon it by an immediate prorogation or dissolution.’2 This order he sent even to the Governor of Pennsylvania, who, by its Charter, had no power to prorogue or dissolve an Assembly. Massachusetts was told, that the King considered ‘their resolutions contrary to the sense of the Assembly, and procured by surprise. You will, therefore,’ such was the command to Bernard, ‘require of the House of Representatives in his Majesty's name to rescind the resolution which gave birth to the Circular letter from the Speaker, and to declare their disapprobation of that rash and hasty proceeding.’ ‘If the new Assembly should refuse to comply, it is the King's pleasure that you should immediately dissolve them.’3 In America, the best informed of the Crown Officers attributed the instruction to ‘the express order of the King.’4

The Agent of the Assembly of Massachusetts interceded for the Colony. Its Petition was received by Hillsborough for the King's perusal, but was never officially presented. ‘It has been resolved in Council,’ said the Secretary, ‘that Governor Bernard have strict orders to insist upon the Assembly's revoking their Circular letter; and if refused, he is ’

1 Hillsborough's Circular Letter, 21 April, 1768, as addressed to Rhode Island, in Prior Documents, 220.

2 See Hillsborough's letter as sent to Maryland. This clause was omitted from the letter sent to Rhode Island.

3 Hillsborough to Bernard, 22 April, 1768.

4 Hutchinson to Bernard, 4 August, 1770.

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