Royal governor; born in Boston
, Sept. 9, 1711; graduated at Harvard College in 1727, and, after engaging unsuccessfully in commerce, studied law, and began its practice in Boston
That city sent him to London
as its agent in important business; and he represented it in the general court for
ten years. In 1752 he was chosen judge of probate; was a councillor from 1749 to 1766; was lieutenant-governor from 1758 to 1771; and was made chief-justice
of the province in 1768.
At that time he held four high offices under the King
's appointment, and he naturally sided with the crown in the rising disputes, and became very obnoxious to the republicans.
When, in 1769, Governor Bernard
was recalled, Hutchinson
became acting-governor of Massachusetts
, and was commissioned governor in 1771.
He was continually engaged in controversies with the popular Assembly, and often with his council.
The publication of some of his letters (1773), which proved that he had been for years urging upon Parliament the necessity for the strict enforcement of power over the colonies, raised a storm of indignation, and his recall was demanded.
This indignation was increased by his action concerning the landing of cargoes of tea in Boston
, and he sailed for England
, June 1, 1774, where he was rewarded with a pension.
He never returned to his native country.
He wrote and published a history of Massachusetts
from the first settlement until 1750.
The official residence of the governor of Massachusetts
was called the “Province House.”
It was a large brick building, three stories in height, and was formerly decorated with the King
's arms, richly gilded.
A cupola surmounted the roof.
In front of the house was a lawn, with an iron fence, and on each side of the gate was a large oak-tree.
The ground sloped, and in front were about twenty stone steps.
's arms are in possession of the Massachusetts Historical Society.
died in Brompton
, near London
, June 3, 1780.
took a seat in Governor Bernard
's council, January, 1767, where he had no right.
The Massachusetts Assembly resented this usurpation, this “lust of power,” in intruding into an elective body to which he had not been chosen.
The council, by unanimous vote, denied the pretensions of the intruder, for the language of the charter was too clear to admit of a doubt; yet Bernard
urged the interposition of the British
government to keep him there.
This conduct of the crown officers greatly irritated the people.
When, in May, 1770, he called a meeting of the Assembly at Cambridge
, that body insisted that, by the terms of the charter, the general court could only be held at Boston
A dispute arose that consumed much of the time of two sessions, and it was October before the Assembly would agree to proceed with needed business, and then under protest, after a day spent in solemn humiliation and prayer.
Then they made a bitter complaint against the governor because he had withdrawn from the castle in Boston Harbor
The province House.
the company in the pay of the province and given the fortress up to the regulars.
They also complained of the unusual number of ships-of-war in Boston Harbor
of which they charged to misrepresentations at court by Governor Bernard
, as well as the incumbent.
They appointed Dr. Franklin
as agent of the province in England
And then began that series of contests between Hutchinson
and the people which speedily caused his exile from his native land.
Early in 1773, letters written by Governor Hutchinson
and others of the crown officers in Massachusetts
to Mr. Whately
, one of the under-secretaries of the government, were put into the hands of Dr. Franklin
, agent for Massachusetts
, by Dr. Hugh Williamson
, of Philadelphia
In these letters the popular leaders were vilified, the liberal clauses of the colonial charter were condemned, the punishment of Bostonians by restraints upon their commercial privileges was recommended, and “an abridgment of what are called English privileges” in America
, by coercive measures, was strongly urged.
saw in these letters evidences of a conspiracy against his country by enemies in its bosom, and he sent them to Thomas Cushing
, speaker of the Massachusetts Assembly.
They were finally published, and created intense excitement throughout the colonies.
The tempest of indignation which they raised was fearful to Hutchinson
and his friends.
When a committee waited upon him for an explicit answer as to the authenticity of his own letters, he replied, “They are mine, but were quite confidential.”
This was not satisfactory, and the Assembly adopted a petition to the King
for his removal.
The writers of the letters were Thomas Hutchinson
, Andrew Oliver
), Charles Paxton
, Thomas Moffatt
, Robert Auchmuty
, Nathaniel Rogers
, and George Rome
See Franklin, Benjamin
So eager was the King
to see Governor Hutchinson
, of Massachusetts
, on his arrival in England
in July, 1774, that he was hurried by Lord Dartmouth to the presence of his Majesty without time to change his clothes.
He gave the King
He assured him that the Port Bill
was a wise and effective method for bringing the Boston
people into submission; that it had occasioned extreme alarm; that no colony would comply with their request for a general suspension of commerce; and that Rhode Island
had accompanied its refusal with a sneer at the selfishness of the Bostonians.
had heard and believed that the Boston
clergy preached toleration for all kinds of immoralities for the sake of liberty, and scores of other tales, which Hutchinson
did not deny; and for two hours the conversation went on, until the King
was satisfied that Boston
would be unsupported in its rebellious attitude by the other colonies.
“The author of this intelligence,” says Bancroft
, “became at once a favorite, was offered the rank of a baronet, and was consulted as an oracle by Gibbon
, the historian, and other politicians at court.”
Boston tea party.
In his history of Massachusetts Bay
, Governor Hutchinson
gives the following account of the destruction of tea in Boston Harbor