Wentworth’s Official Proclamation of December 26, 1774
On the 26th of December Governor Wentworth issued the following proclamation:
A PROCLAMATION BY THE GOVERNOR Whereas, several Bodies of Men did, in the day time of the 14th and in the Night of the I5th of this Instant December, in the most daring and rebellious Manner invest, attack and forcibly enter into his Majesty's Castle William and Mary in this Province, and overpowering and confining the Captain and Garrison, did, besides committing many treasonable Insults and Outrages, break open the Magazine of said Castle and plunder it of above One hundred Barrels of Gunpowder, with upwards of sixty Stand of small Arms, and did also force from the Ramparts of said Castles and carry off sixteen Pieces of Cannon, and other military Stores, in open Hostility and direct Oppugnation of his Majesty's Government and in the most atrocious Contempt of his Crown and Dignity:-- I Do, by Advice and Consent of his Majesty's Council, issue this Proclamation, ordering and requiring in his Majesty's Name, all Magistrates and other officers whether Civil or Military, as they regard their Duty to the King and the Tenor of the Oaths they have solemnly taken and subscribed, to exert themselves in detecting and securing in some of his Majesty's Goals in this Province the said Offenders, in Order to their being brought to condign punishment; And from motives of Duty to the King and Regard to the welfare of the good People of this Province I do in the most earnest and solemn Manner, exhort and enjoin you, his Majesty's liege Subjects of this Government, to beware of suffering yourselves to be seduced by the false Art & Menaces of abandoned Men, to abet, protect or screen from Justice any of the said high handed Offenders, or to withhold or secrete his Majesty's Munition forcibly taken from his Castle but that each and every of you will use your utmost endeavor to detect and discover the Perpetrators of these Crimes to the civil Magistrate, and assist in securing and bringing them to Justice, and in recovering the King's Munition - This Injunction it is my bounden Duty to lay strictly upon you, and to require your Obedience thereto as you value individually your Faith and Allegiance to his Majesty, as you wish to preserve that Reputation to the Province in general ; and as you would avert the most dreadfu1 but most certain Consequences of a contrary conduct to yourselves and Posterity. Given at the Council-chamber in Portsmouth, the 26th Day of December, in the 15th year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third, by the Grace of God, of great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc., and in the year of our Lord Christ, 1774. J. WENTWORTH. By his Excellency's Command with advice of Council, THEODORE ATKINSON, Sec[retar]y. God Save the King.
From: Printed proclamation in MS. Corr., Vol. III, p. 334.