Benjamin Franklin Papers

Memorandum about Lord Hillsborough, [January 1772?]

A Memorandum about Lord Hillsborough

AD (draft): Library of Congress

[January, 1772?5]

When the Petition6 first came over, an Accident had happen’d to the Paper that made it unfit to be presented,

Therefore a Duplicate was waited for, being expected in some other Ship.

Before that arriv’d Lord Hillsborough was gone to Ireland.

On his Return B.F. waited on him 5 several times, or rather endeavoured to wait on him, but was always refus’d Admittance, or his L[ordshi]p was deny’d.

In the mean time hearing that his L[ordshi]p had declar’d the Minister who propos’d the Repeal of that Act would deserve to be hang’d, and also that his L[ordshi]p talk’d of resigning,7 thought it best to wait a little longer.


[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5The earliest possible date, which we customarily assign, cannot in this case be far wrong. After returning from his tour of Ireland and Scotland at the end of November, 1771, BF made the five unsuccessful attempts that he mentions to see Lord Hillsborough. The second extract of BF to WF below, Aug. 19, makes clear that his attempts must have occupied at least the month of December. In early February, 1772, he sent a letter that is now missing, but of which this memorandum may well have been the basis, to the committee of correspondence of the Pa. Assembly: BF to Galloway below, Feb. 6.

6The petition of the previous March from the Pennsylvania Assembly, urging total repeal of the Townshend duties; see above, XVIII, 66.

7Hillsborough was adamant against total repeal, but we have not heard, as BF had, that he talked of resigning on that issue. A quite different one drove him from office five months later.

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