Rebellion declared in Massachusetts (1775)


On February 9th 1775, the British parliament provided King George III with a report on the situation in New England – and declared the colony of Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion:


“We, your majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects… in parliament assembled, return your majesty our most humble thanks for having been graciously pleased to communicate to us the several papers relating to the present state of the British colonies in America… We have taken them into our most serious consideration and we find that a part of your majesty’s subjects in the province of Massachusetts Bay have proceeded so far to resist the authority of the supreme legislature, that a rebellion at this time actually exists within the said province, and we see, with the utmost concern, that they have been countenanced and encouraged by unlawful combinations and engagements, entered into by your majesty’s other subjects in several of the other colonies, to the injury and oppression of many of their fellow subjects…

We ever have been, and always shall be, ready to pay attention and regard to any real grievances of any of your majesty’s subjects, laid before us in a dutiful and constitutional manner. [But] we humbly beseech your majesty that you will take the most effectual measures to enforce due obedience to the laws and authority of the supreme legislature; and we assure your majesty that it is our fixed resolution, at the hazard of our lives and properties, to stand by your majesty against all rebellious attempts…”

Four days later, on February 13th, both Houses of Parliament petitioned the king and asked him to:

“…direct your Majesty’s governor of Massachusetts Bay to take the most effectual methods for procuring the fullest information that can be obtained touching all treasons or misprision of treason committed within this government since the 30th day of December last… together with the names of the persons who were most active in the commission of such offences… in order that your Majesty may issue a special commission for… hearing and determining the said offences within this realm…”

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