Petition Offered by Mr. Crosbie


FRIDAY, March 25, 1774.

Mr˙ Crosbie offered to present a Petition of William Bollan, Esq˙, (styling himself agent) for and in behalf of the Council of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and likewise of himself and the other inhabitants of the town of Boston.

And a motion being made, that the said Petition be brought up; it produced a short, but warm debate.

And the question being put, the House divided; yeas 40, nays 170.

So it passed in the Negative.



* In the progress of the Bill, opposition seemed to collect itself, and to take a more active part. Mr˙ Bollan, the agent of the Council of Massachusetts Bay, presented a Petition, desiring to be heard for the said Council, and in behalf of himself and other inhabitants in the town of Boston. The House refused to receive the Petition. It was said that the agent of the Council was not agent for the Corporation, and no agent would be received from a body corporate, except he were appointed by all the necessary constituent parts of that body — besides, the Council was fluctuating, and the body by which he was appointed could not be then actually existing.

This vote of rejection was heavily censured. The opposition cried out at the inconsistency of the House, who but a few days ago received a Petition from this very man in this very character; and now, only because they choose to exert their power in acts of injustice and contradiction, totally refuse to receive any thing from him, as not duly qualified. Were not the reasons equally strong against receiving the first as the second Petition? But what, they asserted, made this conduct the more unnecessary and outrageous, was, that at that time the House of Lords were actually hearing Mr˙ Bollan on his Petition, as a person duly qualified, at their bar. Thus said they, this House is at once in contradiction to the other and to itself. As to the reasons given against his qualification, they are equally applicable to all American agents; none of whom are appointed as the Minister now required they should be — and thus the House cuts off all communication between them and the Colonies, whom they are affecting by their acts. — Ann˙ Regis.