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WEDNESDAY, November 30, 1774.

His Majesty being seated on the Throne, adorned with his Crown and regal ornaments, and attended by his high Officers of State, (the Lords being in their robes,) commanded the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod to let the Commons know, "It is his Majesty' s pleasure that they attend him immediately in this House."

Who being come,

Sir Fletcher Norton said,

Most Gracious Sovereign:

Your Majesty' s dutiful subjects, the Commons of this your Realm, in Parliament assembled, have, in pursuance of your Majesty' s direction, and of their ancient right, elected one of their Members to be their Speaker for this Parliament; and their choice, sir, having once more fallen upon me for this high and important trust, they now present me to your Majesty for your judgment upon their election. Needless will it be in me, sir, to mention on this occasion, with regard to myself, what I fear cannot but be too well known to your Majesty; it therefore best becomes me, with silence and submission, to resign myself to your royal determination.


Then the Lord Chancellor, receiving directions from his Majesty, said:

Sir Fletcher Norton,

You have appealed to the King' s own experience and knowledge for the decision of the weighty affair now under his consideration, and it is from thence his Majesty has formed his judgment.

After having had such clear demonstration of your abilities, zeal, and application in the service of himself and of your country, in the last Parliament, his Majesty commands me to let you know that he entirely approves the choice which his faithful Commons have made, and allows and confirms you to be their Speaker. After which,

Mr˙ Speaker said:

Since your Majesty has been pleased to confirm the choice your Commons have made of me to be their Speaker, it is my duty, sir, with all humility, to conform myself to their appointment and your royal approbation of it; begging your Majesty' s favourable acceptance of my humblest acknowledgments for this fresh instance of your Majesty' s grace towards myself, and that your Majesty would vouch-safe to pardon my failings and infirmities, at least not to impute them in any wise to your faithful Commons. And that your Commons in Parliament may be the better enabled to discharge their duty to your Majesty and their country, I do in their name, and on their behalf, by humble petition to your Majesty, lay claim to all their ancient rights and privileges; particularly that they, their servants and


estates, may be free from arrests and all other molestation. That they may enjoy freedom of speech in their debates, and have liberty of access to your royal person on all occasions; and that all their proceedings may receive from your Majesty the most favourable interpretation.

Which done,

The Lord Chancellor, by his Majesty' s further command, said,

Mr˙ Speaker:

The King has the greatest confidence in the duty and affection of this House of Commons to his person and Government, and an high opinion of that wisdom, temper, and prudence, which they will use in all their proceedings; and his Majesty does most readily grant and allow to them all their privileges, in as full and ample a manner as they have at any time been granted or allowed by his Majesty, or any of his royal predecessors.

There is one suit, sir, which you have made on your own behalf. His Majesty has received the surest pledge that no person in your station ever stood less in need of it than yourself; but that you may want no support in sustaining the burden of that important trust which is reposed in you, his Majesty has directed me to assure you, that he will put the most favourable construction both on your words and actions.

Then his Majesty was pleased to speak as follows:

My Lords and Gentlemen:

It gives me much concern that I am obliged, at the opening of this Parliament, to inform you that a most daring spirit of resistance and disobedience to the law still unhappily prevails in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, and has in divers parts of it broke forth in fresh violences of a very criminal nature. These proceedings have been countenanced and encouraged in other of my Colonies, and unwarrantable attempts have been made to obstruct the Commerce of this Kingdom, by unlawful combinations. I have taken such measures, and given such orders as I judged most proper and effectual for carrying into execution the laws which were passed in the last session of the late Parliament, for the protection and security of the Commerce of my subjects, and for the restoring and preserving peace, order, and good Government in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay. And you may depend on my firm and steadfast resolution to withstand every attempt to weaken or impair the supreme authority of this Legislature over all the Dominions of my crown, the maintenance of which I consider as essential to the dignity, the safety, and the welfare of the British Empire, assuring myself that, while I act upon these principles, I shall never fail to receive your assistance and support.

I have the greatest satisfaction in being able to inform you that a treaty of peace is concluded between Russia and the Porte. By this happy event the troubles which have so long prevailed in one part of Europe, are composed, and the general tranquillity rendered complete. It shall be my constant aim and endeavour to prevent the breaking out of fresh disturbances, and I cannot but flatter myself I shall succeed, as I continue to receive the strongest assurances from other Powers of their being equally disposed to preserve the peace.

Gentlemen of the House of Commons:

I have ordered the proper Estimates for the service of the ensuing year to be laid before you; and I doubt not but that, in this House of Commons, I shall meet with the same affectionate confidence, and the same proofs of zeal and attachment to my person and Government, which I have always, during the course of my reign, received from my faithful Commons.

My Lords and Gentlemen:

Let me particularly recommend to you, at this time, to proceed with temper in your deliberations, and with unanimity in your resolutions. Let my people, in every part of my Dominions, be taught by your example to have a due reverence for the laws, and a just sense of the blessings of our excellent Constitution. They may be assured that, on my part, I have nothing so much at heart as the real prosperity and lasting happiness of all my subjects.


Then his Majesty was pleased to retire, and the Commons withdrew.