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9th, they started a letter to the Board of Trade, but quibbled over its contents so that it was not sent until March i.1 Again they could not agree on the terms of a proclamation for a fast, and it was finally read only by Sewall's son. On February 9, they issued new commissions to the justices of peace and the officers. The governor's son, William Dudley, refused to receive his, saying that he already had one with a seal, and for this bit of pleasantry he was superseded.2 In short, every question was argued and debated so much, and so little was done that the people were not all sorry when the rule of the Council came to an end.
Meantime Dudley and his friends were not idle. They issued an appeal in a pamphlet entitled "The Case of His Excellency the Governour and Council of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England, truly stated,"3 which contained the best exposition of the position of both the governor and the Council. The governor held that, since the act of Parliament whereby the commissions were extended for six months contained no negative clause, as did the act extending the session of Parliament, his commission should run until it was superseded. Granting this interpretation of Dudley's, the Council had no ground on which to stand; but it held to the literal interpretation of the act, and maintained that, since six months had expired, his commission was thereby void. What would have been the outcome of these diametrically opposed views, it is impossible to say; but it is not probable that the governor would have been able to raise a party to
1 Council Records (Ms.), February 9, 1714/1715; see also Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings, 2d Series, xv. 348.
* Sewall's Diary, February 18, 1714/1715; Council Records (Ms.), vi. 321.
* Sewall first saw this pamphlet March 16, 1714/1715 (see his diary of that date). It is reprinted by Ford in Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings, 2d Series, xv. 356.
resist the Council. This fact he apparently recognized in the first instance; for, though protesting, he put no obstacles in the Council's way. The whole affair, however, was settled on March 19 by the safe receipt of a duplicate of the king's proclamation of November 2, 1714. By this proclamation all officers were to continue in the exercise of their duties until the king's pleasure was known; and therefore Dudley was restored to his position. He and his family enjoyed their triumph. March 29, Sunday, was the day on which the Council's proclamation for a fast was to be read; but the ministers had been informed, and the Council was denied the pleasure of hearing its official handiwork published from the pulpit. On the same evening Paul Dudley and William Dummer notified each member of the Council that the governor was coming to town on the following day, and that a Council meeting was called to hear the proclamation of the king. On the next day the governor, accompanied by two troops of horse and by his guards, came to Boston and resumed the power.1 Volleys were fired and cheers given,2 and the News Letter hints that the people were only too glad to welcome him back.
Thus ended one of the most curious constitutional complications in Dudley's administration. Without doubt he was right in anticipating the intention of the English government, which was clearly shown by the date of the delayed proclamation; but it is equally true that he had a very weak case in law.3 He himself seems to have recognized this from the first,
1Sewall's Diary, March 20, 1714/1715.
* Council Records (Ms.), vi. 334; Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings, 2d Series, xv. 353.
• Nevertheless, Sir Edward Northey, attorney-general, was of the opinion that " twas a jest to think the Council right to take on them the Governm'." — Sewall's Diary, January 2, 1719/1720.
for he made very little opposition or argument to the assumption of the power by the Council. The long interval of six weeks before his defence appeared is another indication of his doubt, and the whole "Case" is a rather labored though an able argument. The incident is interesting, moreover, as showing the attitude of the Council. Dudley had greater control over this body than over the House; some of the councillors were connected with him by marriage, most of them were his friends, and in the last session of the Court they had all supported him on the banking question. Their action, however, shows their extreme jealousy of the power granted to any governor, and their eagerness to take the power into their own hands. It is but another example of the independent spirit of Massachusetts that had been shown in a similar manner on the imprisonment of Andros and at the death of Bellomont.
Although Dudley was restored to power by the proclamation of the king, he enjoyed his triumph but a short time. His action in regard to the Bank party had offended a powerful interest, which sought in England to have him displaced and a more pliant governor appointed. His old friends and supporters were no longer in power, but had been replaced by another set of politicians, with whom he was unacquainted and who had no knowledge of him. Moreover, they had to provide for favorites of their own, whose claims were greater than any that Dudley could urge. To these new leaders the Land Bank party applied, and to Stanhope in particular. Its labors, however, met with opposition from both Dummer and Sir William Ashurst, both of whom used all their influence to keep Dudley in power and to check the plans of the Land Bank party. Their efforts were fruitless; for a new commission was issued to one of Stanhope's aides, Colonel Burgess, and Dudley's long administration came to an end.
Although Dudley was removed from office, his career was not ended. He and his family had played too important a part in the political life of the colony to allow him at once to sink into obscurity; and his friends continued to employ his influence, while his enemies could not ignore the power of his supporters. In the interval between the publication of Burgess's commission and the arrival of Governor Shute, Lieutenant-Governor Tailer was acting governor. Although Tailer was a connection of Dudley's by marriage, there is no evidence that the two acted in harmony. On the contrary, the old governor did all he could to tie the hands of his successor, for in spite of the opposition of some of the Council, he pushed through an order proroguing the General Court.1 This, however, did not prevent Tailer's activity in Council meetings, where, much to the anger of some of the old governor's feminine admirers, he occupied the chair from which Dudley had so long enforced his will.2
Plans were set in motion to reward Dudley by honoring his family. His son Paul was suggested as a possible candidate for lieutenant-governor,3 and for Sewall's position as one of the judges; * but to no purpose. Dudley, however, occupied the place of an unofficial adviser to the Shute administration during the first days of its existence. Thus, Shute refused the invitation of the House of Representatives to lodge with Colonel Tailer, preferring to accept an invitation from Paul Dudley; and Joseph Dudley met, welcomed, and talked with
1 Sewall's Diary, October 18, 1715.
* Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections, 4th Series, ii. 308.
• Sewall's Diary, February 8, 1617/1618.
the new governor before the ministers officially welcomed him at the town-house. These facts led some to fear that Shute would be a purely partisan governor, which "Deus avertat Omnem," piously wrote Sewall.1 So, too, Dummer wished to assure "Roxbury" that he would be well represented to the ministry, and sought Dudley's good wishes, not his open aid, for that might injure Dummer's chances in certain quarters; rather would he have Dudley publicly oppose him, while evidently desiring the support of the members of the old governor's party.2
It is obvious that Dudley occupied a difficult position, and that in the unstable condition of parties caused by the activities of the Land Bank party he was alike sought and feared. He realized his position; for he wrote, "I think I have liv'd long enough,"3 and in the remaining four years of his life he took little public part in the political affairs of the colony. Though he lived at his home in Roxbury, he was a frequent and honored guest at private and public functions in Boston. He was one of the wealthy men of the colony, the head of a family which was as important as any in Massachusetts, and by the marriages of his children was connected with the Winthrops, Sewalls, Dummers, and other prominent families. His son was attorney-general of the colony, his son-in-law, William Dummer, was lieutenant-governor, and it is probable that in unofficial ways Dudley's influence had to be reckoned with, although there is no evidence of any public activity.
He died April 2, 1720, at the age of seventy-three, and was buried at Roxbury with considerable pomp, troops of horse
1 Sewall's Diary, October 5, 1716.
* Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections, 5th Series, vii. 107.
• Ibid. 4th Series, ii. 308.