George III’s proclamation of rebellion (1775)


On August 23rd 1775, King George III responded to the ‘Olive Branch petition’ by declaring the American colonies to be in a state of rebellion, and calling for revolutionary leaders to be brought to justice:


“Whereas many of our subjects in diverse parts of our colonies and plantations in North America, misled by dangerous and ill designing men, and forgetting the allegiance they owe to the power that has protected and supported them; after various disorderly acts committed in disturbance of the public peace, to the obstruction of lawful commerce, and to the oppression of our loyal subjects carrying on the same; have at length proceeded to open and avowed rebellion, by arraying themselves in a hostile manner to withstand the execution of the law, and traitorously preparing, ordering and levying war against us…

There is reason to apprehend that such rebellion hath been much promoted and encouraged by the traitorous correspondence, counsels and comfort of diverse, wicked and desperate persons within this realm…

To the end therefore, none of our subjects may neglect or violate their duty through ignorance thereof, or through any doubt of the protection which the law will afford to their loyalty and zeal, we have thought fit, by and with the advice of our Privy Council, to issue our Royal Proclamation, hereby declaring that all our officers, civil and military, are obliged to exert their utmost endeavours to suppress [this] rebellion, and to bring the traitors to justice…

All our subjects of this realm, and the dominions belonging to it, are bound by law to be aiding and assisting in the suppression of such rebellion, and to disclose and make known all traitorous conspiracies and attempts against us, our Crown and dignity… We do accordingly charge and command all our officers, civil and military, and our obedient and loyal subjects, to use their utmost endeavours to withstand and suppress such rebellion, and to disclose and make known all treasons and traitorous conspiracies which they shall know to be against us, our Crown and dignity…

Given at our Court at St. James in the 15th year of our reign.

God Save the King!”

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