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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.