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[329] it to the middle of March. The delay prevented
Chap. XLIII.} 1770. Jan.
any support to its Petition against Bernard; and any Representation during the session of Parliament in which the last revenue Act was to be modified or repealed. The reason assigned for the prorogation was neither the good of the Colony, nor the judgment of the Lieutenant Governor, but an arbitrary instruction1 from Hillsborough, and of such an instruction Samuel Adams denied the validity.2

The spirit of non-importation rather rose than abated. Yet as tea had advanced one hundred per cent.,3 Hutchinson, who was himself a very large importer of it,4 could no longer restrain his covetousness. His two oldest sons, therefore, who were his agents, violating their engagement, broke open the lock, of which they had given the key to the Committee of merchants, and secretly made sales.5 ‘Do they imagine,’ cried Samuel Adams, ‘they can still weary the patience of an injured country with impunity?’ and avowing that in the present case, the will of society was not declared in its laws, he called not on the merchants only, but on every individual of every class in city and country, to compel the strictest adherence to the agreement.6

The merchants,7 in pursuance of a vote at a very full meeting, went in a body to the house of the

1 Hillsborough to Hutchinson, 4 Nov. 1769.

2 Vindex in Boston Gazette, Monday, 8 Jan. 1770.

3 So stated by Lord North in the House of Commons. Cavendish Debates, i. 488.

4 See Hutchinson's orders to Wm. Palmer of London, 1769. Ms.

5 He that will read Hutchinson's many letters on this subject will learn his art of concealment and false representation. Or compare his History, III. 266-268.

6 Determinatus, in Boston Gazette, of 8 January, 1770.

7 Dr. Cooper to Gov. Pownall, 30 January, 1770.

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