British Friends of the American Revolution

By Jerome R. Reich | Go to book overview

to pass an act for the repeal of the four late [Coercive] acts respecting America . . . being fully persuaded that the passing of such an act will be of the utmost importance for the security of the excellent constitution, and the restoration of the rights and liberties of our fellow-subjects in America. 32

One friend of America (though not necessarily for this reason), Governor Pownall, lost his seat in this election. However, Lord North, possibly to win him over and/or to take advantage of his expertise, quickly found him another seat. Even though this meant deserting the Whig opposition, Pownall still hoped to play a role in settling the American conflict. Toward the end of 1774, he attempted to convince Benjamin Franklin that a commission headed by him ( Pownall) might be sent to America to "settle the differences" between the colonists and Great Britain, but Franklin had little faith in the project ever materializing. 33 Pownall had discussed such a proposal with Lord Dartmouth, the colonial secretary who tended to take a somewhat more conciliatory attitude toward America than his colleagues. As Dartmouth noted, Pownall "had a mind to go to America and be the King's Representative and preside over all the colonies." Dartmouth broached the scheme to his ministerial colleagues but, as Franklin had predicted, "it was scouted at." 34

Instead, the cabinet decided to present more repressive measures to Parliament: Military and naval reinforcements were to be sent to America and colonial trade was to be limited to Great Britain, Ireland, and the West Indies; all foreign ports were to be off-limits. The only "conciliatory" proposal was the promise that Parliament would not tax any colony that promised to provide adequate support of its military and administrative needs. But the discussion, and the results, of these measures must await another chapter.


Notes
1.
Richard Henry Lee, ed., The Life of Arthur Lee, LLD, I, p. 237.
2.
R. C. Simmons and P. D.G. Thomas, eds., Proceedings and Debates of the British Parliaments Respecting North America, 1754-1783 (hereafter referred to as Parliament Debates), III, p. 490.
8.
Thomas W. Copeland et al., eds., The Correspondence of Edmund Burke (hereafter referred to as Burke Correspondence), II, p. 291.

-57-

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British Friends of the American Revolution
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • 1 - The Stage and the Players 3
  • Notes 6
  • 2 - Governor Pownall, Dean Tucker, and Major John Cartwright: Practical Idealists or Wishful Thinkers? 7
  • Notes 19
  • 3 - Pitt, Burke, and American Policy, 1763-1770 21
  • Notes 31
  • 4 - "Birds of a Feather": John Wilkes and John Horne Tooke 33
  • Notes 39
  • 5 - The "Honest Whigs" 40
  • Notes 48
  • 6 - The Coercive Acts and Their Opponents: a Study in Futility 50
  • Notes 57
  • 7 - A Dire Prediction 59
  • Notes 72
  • 8 - The House of Lords 74
  • Notes 87
  • 9 Richard Price: Apostle of Liberty 90
  • Notes 103
  • 10 - The Single Legal Victim of the American Revolution 105
  • Notes 111
  • 11 - Dean Tucker: He Told Them So! 112
  • Notes 117
  • 12 - Governor Pownall Fights to the Finish 119
  • Notes 125
  • 13 - David Hartley: Amateur Diplomat 127
  • Notes 137
  • 14 - Charles James Fox: the Life of the Party 139
  • Notes 151
  • 15 - "Peace, Peace, When There is No Peace" 154
  • Notes 162
  • 16 - Summary and Conclusions 164
  • Bibliography 173
  • Index 179
  • About the Author *
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