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Resolves of the Borough of Norfolk


Resolves of the Common-Hall above referred to.


At a Common-Hall summoned and held August 21, 1775, sundry Letters from John Macartney, Esq˙, Commander of His Majesty' s Ship Mercury, to Paul Loyal, Esquire, Mayor, were laid before the Hall; and the Hall taking the same into their serious consideration, and being greatly surprised at the contents thereof, it was thereupon

Resolved, That the letters from Captain Macartney to the Worshipful the Mayor, were evidently intended to alarm and intimidate the inhabitants of this Borough, were disrespectful to the Chief Magistrate of this Corporation, are an officious intermeddling in the civil Government of the Town, and contain an implied threatening which the Hall conceive to be unjustifiable, premature, and indecent: unjustifiable, inasmuch as no reason can be deduced from fact, or any authority be derived from law, to empower Captain Macartney, unsolicited by the Magistracy, to interfere in matters within their jurisdiction alone, and much less to hold up to them the idea of violence and compulsion, in a transaction so entirely without the line of his department; premature, as his conduct in this instance originates from ill-grounded suppositions and mistaken apprehensions, and without any sanction from facts to support them; indecent, because it impliedly charges the Magistracy with a wilful remissness in the exercise of the powers legally vested in them; because the menace is as particularly pointed against them, as if they were the abetters of riot and persecution; because it operates towards the destruction of the persons and properties of a number of His Majesty' s subjects, chiefly on account of some accidental insults, alleged to have been offered by a few incautious youth to an individual; because so little regard is shown to the understandings and feelings of people, as, at the same moment in which this haughty declaration, so big with ruin, is denounced, it is pretended that the execution of it is to preserve the persons and properties of His Majesty' s subjects, as if the utter destruction of their lives and estates could ever be deemed a preservation of their persons and properties.

Resolved, That the military power, agreeable to the British Constitution, is and ought to be under the control of the civil; and notwithstanding the utterly defenceless state of the Town, the body Corporate of this Borough will never tamely submit to the invasion of their privileges by the dangerous and untimely interposition of military force.

Resolved, That this Corporation will continue steadfastly to adhere to those substantial principles of good Government which ought to actuate the minds of all His Majesty' s faithful subjects; and that they embrace this opportunity to make this publick and solemn declaration, that notwithstanding their exposed and defenceless situation, which cannot be remedied, unbiased by fear, unappalled at the threats of unlawful power, they will never desert the righteous cause of their Country, plunged as it is into dreadful and unexpected calamities.

Ordered, That a copy of these Resolutions be by the Mayor transmitted to John Macartney, Esq˙, Commander of his Majesty' s Ship Mercury.