The Age of George III

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The Petition of Davison & Newman to King George III

claiming compensation for Chests of their tea thrown into the harbour of Boston Massachusetts, by persons disguised as Indians

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To the King's most excellent Majesty

The humble Petition of Peregrine Cust, James Bradley, Charles Harris, Robert Thornton, William Greenwood, Monkhouse Davison and Abraham Newman all of the City of London Merchants


That your Petitioners Monkhouse Davison and Abraham Newman have for many Years past dealt and traded in buying large Quantities of Teas at the India Company's Sales in London and selling the same by Wholesale and also in shipping and sending the Same to the British colonies in America for sale there.

That your said Petitioners in December One thousand seven hundred and seventy three in the ordinary course of such their Trade shipt on Board a Brigantine or Vessel called the Fortune commanded by Benjamin Gorsham then lying in the River Thames bound for Boston in the Province of Massachuset's Bay in North America Sixteen chests of tea consigned to Henry Lloyd a Merchant there.

THAT the said Ship arrived in the Harbour of Boston on Sunday the Sixth of March One thousand seven hundred and seventy four laden with goods and Merchandizes of various kinds (amongst which were the said Sixteen Chests of Tea) upon Freight and about Eight o'Clock in the Evening of the next day being the Seventh of March the said ship being then at a wharf in the Harbour of Boston aforesaid a great Number of Persons all of whim were unknown to the Captain and many of them disguised and dressed and talking like Indians armed with Axes and Hatchets with Force and violence entered on Board the said Vessel and broke open the Hatches and proceeded to rummage the Hold and hoisted out Twenty eight Chests of Tea, amongst which were the before mentioned Sixteen Chests of Tea, upon the Deck of the said Vessel and there with Hatchets axes and Clubs broke open the said Chests and emptied and threw the Tea into the Water whereby the same was wholly lost and destroyed.

That in December One thousand seven hundred and seventy three your Petitioners Peregrine Cust James Bradley Charles Harris Robert Thornton and William Greenwood underwrote a Policy of Insurance on the said Sixteen Chests of Tea for several Sums of Money amounting together to Four hundred and eighty Pounds which Sum by reason for the Loss of the said Tea they have paid to your Petitioners Monkhouse Davison and Abraham Newman the Assessed in the said Policy.

THAT the said Tea with the Charges and Premium of Insurance thereon was of the Value of Four hundred and seventy two Pounds Two shillings and Ten Pence Sterling as by the Invoice thereof made and sent therewith dated the Twenty third Day of December One thousand seven hundred and seventy three appears.

THAT your Petitioners are prepared with proper Evidence fully to prove the Matters aforesaid.

THAT by an Act of Parliament passed in the present Sessions entitled "An Act to discontinue in such manner and for such time as are therein mentioned the landing and discharging lading or shipping of Goods Wares and Merchandize at the Town and within the Harbour of Boston in the Province of Massachusets' Bay in North America" your Majesty in impowered to assign and appoint the Extent Bounds and Limits of the said Port or Harbour and also to appoint Quays and Wharfs within the said Harbour for the landing discharging lading and shipping of Goods in case it shall appear to your Majesty that full satisfaction hath been made by the Inhabitants of the said Town of boston to the east India Company for the Damage sustained by the said Company by the destruction of their Goods sent to Boston. And where it shall be properly certified to your Majesty that reasonable Satisfaction hath been made to others who suffered by the Riots and Insurrections at Boston in November and December One thousand seven hundred and seventy three and January One thousand seven hundred and seventy four.

THAT at the time of passing the said Act Advice had not been received in England of the riots and Disorders committed at Boston in March One thousand seven hundred and seventy four and therefore the same could not be therein particularly taken Notice of But nevertheless your Petitioners humble conceive that by the said act it was intended that no such Port Harbour Quays or wharfs should be appointed at or for the said Town of Boston until it should appear to your Majesty that reasonable Satisfaction had been made to all Persons who suffered by the riots and Insurrections at Boston.

Wherefore and in regard that the Violence used in destroying the said Sixteen Chests of Tea was not provoked by your Petitioners and did not proceed from any Resentment conceived against them or against their manner of trading but was intended and used by ill affected Persons as an opposition to and defiance of your Majesty's Government and Authority

YOUR PETITIONERS most humbly pray that your Majesty will be graciously pleased to give your Petitioners such relief as their Case may require and such as to your Majesty may seem just

AND your Petitioners shall ever pray

P Cust
Wm Greenwood
Charles Harris
Davison & Newman
Robt Thornton
Jas Bradley

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Last modified 12 January, 2016

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