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Reasons of the Petit Jurors for refusing to be sworn


The Reasons of the Petit Jurors were as follows:

Boston, August 30, 1774.

Suffolk, ss.

To the Honourable Justices of the Superiour Court of Judicature, Court of Assize, &c˙:

May it please your Honours:

We, the subscribers, returned by this County to serve as Petit Jurors this term, beg leave to acquaint your Honours that, as the Honourable Peter Oliver, Esquire, stands impeached, by the late honourable House of Commons of this Province, in their own name, and in the name of the people of this Province, of high crimes and misdemeanors, which impeachment, with the reasons therefor, as they are publick, would be needless for us to repeat.

We would also beg leave to acquaint your Honours that, as, by a late Act of the British Parliament, the continuance of the Judges of the Superiour Court is, since the first of July last, made to depend upon said Act, which it is apprehended places their dependence entirely upon the Crown, and which is esteemed a great infringement of the Charter rights of this Province.

Taking the above premises into our most serious consideration, we beg leave to acquaint your Honours that we cannot, in our consciences, from a sense of that duty we owe to our country, to ourselves, and to posterity, act against the united voice of this people; therefore beg your Honours will excuse us when we say, we decline serving as Petit Jurors for this Court.

Josiah Waters,
Ebenezer Swift,
Jonathan Parker,
Samuel Ridgeway,
Eliphalet Sawyer,
Ebenezer Kingsbury,
Nathan Frazer,
Thomas White,
Samuel Payton,
Robert Wire,
Thomas Nash,
Joseph Moore,
Barthol˙ Kneeland,
Nath' l Holbrook, Jr˙
Ralph Day,
Thomas Chase,
Elijah Jenning,
Nathaniel Lewis,
John Cunningham,
Elijah Cushing,
Eliakim Cook,
Joseph Brewer,
Ignatius Orcutt,
Joseph Lovell,
Jacob Sharp,
Elijah Monk,
Elias Thuver,
Timothy Tilestone,
Henry Stone,
Theodore Mann,
Samuel Sprague,
William Draper,
James Blake.

After the Court had read the papers, the Clerk of the Court, by order of the Chief Justice, asked them, seriatim, if they would be sworn, and every one refused. The Court said they would consider of their reasons, and the Juries withdrew. The Court then adjourned to ten o' clock, next day, when they met, exclusive of Mr˙ Oliver; and, to the inexpressible grief of their fellow-citizens, went on to such business as is usually transacted without Juries.