House of Commons



Wednesday, November 6, 1776.

Thin House. Nothing expected.

Mr˙ Fox begged the House would not adjourn; an honourable friend of his was coming down to move something of the first consequence; and seeing none of the Ministers in the House, he desired they might be sent for; he thought them exceedingly blamable in being absent; whether business was expected or not, they ought constantly to attend their duty in Parliament.

[Messengers were sent to Lord North and Lord George Germaine. In a few minutes Lord John Cavendish came, and as did also the Ministers.]

Lord JOHN CAVENDSH said, that he had seen in the publick prints of this day a most extraordinary Declaration, which, if genuine, required the attention and consideration of the House. He read it:

"By Richard Viscount Howe, of the Kingdom of Ireland, and William Howe, Esq˙, General of his Majesty' s Forces in America, the King' s Commissioners for restoring peace in his Majesty' s Colonies and Plantations in North-America, &c.


"Although the Congress, whom the misguided Americans suffer to direct their opposition to a reestablishment of the constitutional government of these Provinces, have disavowed every purpose of reconciliation not consonant with their extravagant inadmissible claim of independency; the King' s Commissioners think fit to declare, that they are equally desirous to confer with his Majesty' s well-affected subjects upon the means of restoring the publick tranquillity, and establishing a permanent union with every Colony as a part of the British empire. The King being most graciously pleased to direct a revision of such of his royal instructions as may be construed to lay an improper restraint upon the freedom of legislation in any of his Colonies, and to concur in the revisal of all his acts by which his subjects there may think themselves aggrieved, it is recommended to the inhabitants at large to reflect seriously upon their present condition, and to judge for themselves, whether it be more consistent with their honour and happiness


to offer up their lives as a sacrifice to the unjust and precarious cause in which they are engaged, or to return to their allegiance, accept the blessings of peace, and be secured in a free enjoyment of their liberty and properties, upon the true principles of the Constitution.

"Given at New-York, the 19th day of September, 1776.


"W˙ HOWE."