Acting Royal Governor of Massachusetts (June through August 1760) Acting Royal Governor of Massachusetts (August 1769-November 1771) Royal Governor of Massachusetts (1771-1774)
-Born in Boston on September 9, 1711 to Colonel Thomas Hutchinson and Sarah Foster. He is a descendant of Anne Hutchinson, the expelled religious radical. He was educated at Harvard, earning a degree in Art. Col.Thomas Hutchinson was the man who seized Captain Kidd.
-He entered business and then politics, on Boston’s Board of Selectmen in 1737, then elected into the Colony’s legislature. He was elected to the General Court in 1742. He was also appointed to the Governor’s Council and was Speaker in 1746, 1747 and 1748. In 1752 he was appointed Judge of Probate and Justice of the Common Pleas for Suffolk County. He replaced his Uncle who filled that position till his death.
-In 1758 he was appointed Lt. Governor and in 1760 Sir Frances Bernard appointed him Chief Justice to the Supreme Court. He held both positions at the same time.
-He issued writs of assistance, which the people opposed and when the Stamp Act was passed, Thomas Hutchinson didn’t like it, but he couldn’t refute its legality. A mob ransacked his house in 1765 to retaliate.
Royally Appointed GovernorEdit
-He became Acting Governor in 1769 when Governor Bernard went to England and so he was in this position during the Boston Massacre. He dispersed the crowd from the balcony of the Old State House (then called the Town House) and took depositions from witnesses that night. He didn’t feel he had the power to send the troops away, being only an Acting Governor,
-Appointed Governor of Massachusetts in March 1771, although he, at first, did not want the responsibility. (At the same time making Hutchinson’s wife’s brother in-law Andrew Oliver, the former Stamp Master, the new Lieutenant Governor.)
-Hutchinson was Governor during the Boston Tea Party in 1773. He knew the people of Boston did not want to pay the tax on the tea which would prove Parliament right, that they did have a legal right to tax the colonies. However his station as Governor prevented him from being able to do anything to stop the colonists from acting in violent ways in protest of the tax. Up to and including the Tea Party. He wrote to a friend: “I am sure if I could have preserved the property that was destroyed, or could have complied with the general desire of the people, consistent with the duty which my station requires, I would most readily have done it.”
-It is somewhat important to note Hutchinson’s mindset: although he had a deep love for the place of his birth (Boston, MA) his first obligation was to Parliament and to duty. He too thought taxation without representation wrong, but he felt he was represented in Parliament virtually through Great Britain’s interest in the Colony and the Empire.
Removed From OfficeEdit
-Hutchinson left the Governorship and the Colony, heading to England in June of 1774, fully expecting to be reinstated as Governor once the rebellious fervor had been quelled. Thomas Gage took over as General and Governor to make a strong military presence in Massachusetts. Hutchinson lived out the rest of his life in England, publishing a history book of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and missing his beloved homeland.
-June 3, 1780 Hutchinson dies in exile in England.