Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 28.djvu/351

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Hutchinson
Hutchinson
345

be printed or copied. They were, however, brought before the assembly in a secret sitting, and finally, after an ambiguous permission had been obtained from Hutchinson, were printed and disseminated over North America. The assembly, with the concurrence of the council, petitioned the king for the removal of Hutchinson and Oliver. When their petition arrived in England, the government referred it to a committee of the privy council, and it was before the committee that Wedderburne, the solicitor-general, made the celebrated attack on Franklin, in which he denounced him as 'a man of letters -homo trium literarum (fur, a thief).' The petition was voted false, groundless, and scandalous (29 Jan. 1774). Meanwhile the tea riot at Boston (16 Dec. 1773) had injured Hutchinson's sons, as they were consignees for a third part of the tea destroyed. Hutchinson's health had suffered from the excitement occasioned by the publication of his letters, and by the attacks of his enemies (his History of Massachusetts Bay, iii. 449 n.), and he applied for leave of absence (26 June 1773) on the ground of family affairs (his Diary and Letters, i. 106). His departure was delayed by the death of the lieutenant-governor, Andrew Oliver, and the impeachment of Chief-justice Peter Oliver for receiving his salary from the crown. On 30 March 1774 he prorogued the assembly, and on 1 June sailed for England, accompanied by a son and a daughter, General Gage being appointed to fill his place during the king's pleasure. So far from being dismissed he was still regarded as governor of Massachusetts, and continued to draw his salary.

On his arrival in London Hutchinson had a long conversation with the king, whom he found well posted in American affairs. Subsequently he had numerous consultations with Lord North and other ministers. He declined a baronetcy on acount of want of means, and in 1775 was asked to stand for parliament. Though his opinions were received with respect, they do not seem to have had much effect. Thus his diary shows that he opposed in vain the bill for the closing of Boston Port and that for the suspension of the constitution of Massachusetts. In America, however, he was regarded as the âme damnée of the ministry; in November 1775 he learnt that his house at Milton had been converted into barracks, while 'Washington, it was said, rode in my coach at Cambridge;' in December 1778 that he had been proscribed; in August 1779 that his estate in Boston was advertised to be sold.

Hutchinson's good breeding and high character made him popular in society, where he made the acquaintance of Gibbon and General Paoli, and he paid frequent visits to court; but as a consistent Calvinist, he regarded Garrick and playgoing with only qualified approval. He was also engaged in writing the third volume of his 'History,' covering the period `from 1749 to 1774, and comprising a detailed narrative of the origin and early stages of the American revolution;' but it was not published until 1828,when his grandson, the Rev. John Hutchinson, edited it. He was created D.C.L. at Oxford, in 1776. During the last years of his life he bore with fortitude the loss of his property and the ingratitude of his countrymen; but the death of his daughter Peggy, followed by that of his son Billy, broke him down, and he died on 3 June 1780. He was buried at Croydon.

A further collection of Hutchinson's historical documents was deposited, apparently in 1823, with the Massachusetts Historical Society by the secretary of state. They were probably taken in the first instance from his town house after the evacuation of Boston, and from his house at Milton. The society promptly published a selection ranging from 1625 to 1770, under the title of 'The Hutchinson Papers' (not to be confused with the Prince Society's publication), in their collections (1823-5, 2nd ser. vol. x., 3rd ser. vol. i.) The custody of the collection was subsequently disputed by the Historical Society and the House of Representatives (see especially the Journal of the House of Representatives for 1870).

'The Diary and Letters of his Excellency Thomas Hutchinson, Esq.,' were published in 2 vols. (1883-6) under the editorship of his great-grandson, P. O. Hutchinson. The American part of the diary appears to be a rough draft of vol. iii. of the 'History;' the remainder gives a very minute account of his last years in England. An account of Hutchinson's miscellaneous publications, of which there are no copies in the British Museum, is to be found in 'A Bibliographical Essay on Governor Hutchinson's Historical Publications' by Charles Deane (Boston, privately printed, 1857). They are few in number, and are chiefly concerned with currency and boundary questions.

[The Diary and Letters, vol. iii. of the History, and Deane's Bibliography mentioned above; Sparks's Continuation of Franklin's Life. Of the general history of the times a view may be found in Lecky's History of England in the Eighteenth Century, vol. iii. chap. xii. The account of Hutchinson given in vol. iii. of Bancroft's History of the United States of America is extremely prejudiced.]

L. C. S.