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Earl of Dartmouth to Lieutenant Governour Colden



Whitehall, December 10, 1774.

SIR: I have received your letters, Nos˙ 6 and 7, and have laid them before the King, together with the Petition and Affidavit enclosed in the first of them relative to the lawless and violent proceedings of such of the inhabitants of the Township of Bennington as claim lands in that Township under grants from New-Hampshire.

The circumstances attending those disturbances are very alarming; and if it be true that those parts of the Province are now an asylum for fugitives from every other part of America, it is certainly become an object that deserves the fullest attention. I cannot, however, be of opinion that the assistance of the King' s Troops ought to be called for until every other effort has been tried and found insufficient. Whenever this matter comes to that issue, it will certainly be the duty of the King' s servants to advise his Majesty to strengthen the hands of Government, by an application of the military force; but I do not see at present sufficient ground for the adoption of such a measure; and I am not without hopes, that when the present very alarming situation of the King' s affairs in North America, from other causes, will leave our hands more at liberty, some means may be found to accommodate these disputes without the risk of bloodshed. I trust it will not be long before we shall find sufficient leisure for such a consideration; and his Majesty' s subjects who have claims in that part of the country, under grants from New-York, may rest assured that their pretensions will meet with every countenance and support that can be shown, consistent with justice; for I can with truth say, that the conduct of that Province in general, and more especially in the present moment, has been such as justly entitles its well disposed and peaceable inhabitants to his Majesty' s particular favour and indulgence; and I have the satisfaction to assure you that their conduct is seen in a very favourable light; and the wishes they have in general, that all violence might be avoided, and the sovereign authority of the Supreme Legislature might be supported, are graciously considered by the King as evidences of their respect and affection for his Majesty, and of the just sense they entertain of the rights of the British Empire. I am, sir, your most obedient humble servant,


Lieutenant Governour Colden.