[jpshare]On May 3, 1775, Massachusetts’ former colonial Gov. Thomas Hutchinson had been exiled in England for 10 months. He realized the situation in America was getting worse. His son Thomas had taken his wife and children to the safety of Boston, leaving his mansion in Milton, Mass., to the patriots. His other two children had fled to Boston with their families. Though he had lost his fortune, he was supporting three of his children who were with him in London.
Hutchinson, in distress, wrote the following letter from his residence in St. James St. to the Earl of Dartmouth asking for help. It is unknown what happened as a result.
The distress which I feel from the present state of my family will I hope excuse my repeated application to your Lordship. My eldest children have each of them 3 young children, & were with their families when I left Boston, peaceably settled in the country; but some that were n such danger from the rage of the people, that their friends advised them to quite their houses and estates, and shelter themselves and families under the protection of the troops; and my estate there, which otherwise would have contributed to their support, is rendered of little or no value by the Boston Port Act. My other three children are with me in London, but wish to return, except my youngest son, whose wish has been to settle in England, & he has flattered himself, and has been encouraged, that on his father's account, he should obtain an appointment here, which would contribute to his support, & to his settlement in the world. I know there were so many expectations of places in England whose pretences were superior to mine, that I despaired of any appointment for him here; and being informed that Sir. Thomas Milles had determined to quit his place of Rec. Gen., I begged of Lord North that appointment for my son, & his Lordship encouraged me that he would comply with my request as soon as sir T.M. could be provided for in England. I am not informed that a new Commiss. is making out for Sir T., which leaves but little hope of my son's succeeding him until next spring, for after July there is no probability of ships going out for Quebec.
If one of my children could be provided for, it would be a great relief. I gratefully acknowledge the provision which has been made for me, in conformity to the assurances given me before I I left my Government but the charge of living is so much greater in England than in America, that although I avoid every unnecessary expense, I find it to exceed what I am to receive, several hundred pounds, the charge of removing my family, and necessaries provided for housekeeping included. I should be ashamed to mention this to your Lordship if it was not merely to shew that it is not an avaricious or accumulating view which induces this application.
I remember, my Lord, that I applied for a discretionary leave to come to England, But I never would have availed myself of it from any personal consideration so long as it could be a prejudice to the publick service. After the death of the L.G. I laid aside all thoughts of it, and had anticipated every difficulty & hazard to which I must have been exposed, if no forces had been sent to the province for its protection. If I had known that additional force would be ordered, I should have thought myself more secure than I had been for the last year I as in the Province, & better able vigorously have opposed attempts up on the Constitution.
I pray your Lordship's consideration of any case in all its circumstances, and am very respectfully,