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Rode from Bass's to Secretary Olivers, in Company with
judge Oliver. The judge soon opened upon
Politicks. Says he, Major
Stockbridge informs me, that Coll.
Ruggles makes a very good Speaker. He
has behaved with to universal approbation.
Soon afterwards, the judge said, I never knew so easy an Election in my
Life. Some of the Bar interest themselves, very much in the Matter.
One Gentleman has interested
himself most infamously, advanced that to be Law in the House which is not Law.
-- That the judges cant set in the House of Commons is certain because there is
an Act of Parliament against it. But the judges may set and vote in the House
of Lords -- i.e. they may if they are Peers. Ld. Mansfield
think he dont set and vote. -- How can the Bar expect Protection from the
Court, if the Bar [illegible] endeavours to bring the Court into
Contempt. He is forever abusing the Court. He said not long since in the
Representatives Room, that take all the superiour
judges and every Inferiour Judge in the Province,
and put them all together and they would not make one half of a Common
I said upon this "That was a distracted Speech. It is a pitty
, that Gentleman was not better guided. He has many fine
Talents." The Judge replyed quick, I have known him these 20 Years and I have
of his Head or his Heart. If Bedlamism
Bedlamism is a Talent he has it in Perfection.
He will one Time say of the Lieutenant Governor, that he had rather have him
than any Man he knows, in any one office, and the next Hour will represent him
as the greatest Tyrant, and most despicable Creature living.
I have treated him with as much Friendship as ever I did a stranger in my
Life, and he knows very well how he has treated me. I blush even to think of
what he has said to me.
I have him in the Utmost Contempt. I have the Utmost Contempt of him. I had
as live say it to him as not. I have the Utmost Contempt of him.
I have been twelve Years concerned in the Executive Courts, and I never knew
so much ill Usage, given to the Court by all the Lawyers in the Province put it
all together for all that Time, as I have known him give in one Term.
The origin of all his Bustle is very well known. I heard a Gentleman say he
would give his oath, that Otis said to him if his father was not made a judge,
he would thro the Province into flames if it cost
him his Life. For that one Speech, a Thousand other Persons would have been
Taunton Court. To the Land of Leonards. Three Judges of the
Common Pleas of that Name, each of whom has a Son, who was bred at a
The Honl. George Leonard, the first justice, seems to me
arbitrary. He committed two old Gentlemen who were near 80 Years old, to the
Custody of an officer, only for speaking loud, when they were both deaf and not
conscious that they did speak loud. A Check, a Reproof, an Admonition, would
have been enough.
He was unwilling that the sessions should adjourn for an Hour to take the
Verdict of the Jury, in a Tryal upon a Presentment of
a Riot, but would have had that jury kept together all Night, till the Court
should set again next Morning. No other Court in the Province,
Superiour nor Inferiour, would have thought of keeping that jury
He broke in most abruptly upon Bob Paine. He did not think
it was right to run out against the Kings Witnesses. For his Part He did not
love to hear
it. -- Three or four Times over-&c. Thus the hauty
Tyrant treats the County.
I lodged the first Night at Corsmans
[Crossmans], the second at Major Leonards of
Rainham and the third at Captn. Cobbs with Paine. I dined
the first day I was there wednesday at Captn. Cobb s with Coll. Otis and Paine, and the
second at Coll. Whites. Drank Tea
once at Coll. Whites with the three
young Leonards, George, Zeph. and
Daniel, and I spent two Evenings at Cobbs with
Coll. Otis, and
Paine. And I rode from
Milton, with Coll.
Otis. He is vastly easy and steady in his Temper. He is vastly good
humoured and sociable and sensible. Learned he is not. But he is an easy,
familiar Speaker. He gave me many Anecdotes both of his Law and
Reading, Thinking, Writing-have I totally renounced all three? Tempora
mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis. Yesterday I found in some of Crafts Books of
Heraldry, a Coat of Arms given by Garter, King at Arms, about 130 Years ago, to
one William Adams of the Middle Temple, Counsellor at Law. It
consists of Three Martlets sable, on a Bend between two O's-bezants.
Jus et Libertas. Jus suum cuique tribuatur. Ope summa, et alacri Studio,
Spent last Monday in taking Pleasure, with Mr. Wibird. Met
him in the Morning at Mr. Borlands, rode with him, to
Squantum, to the very lowest Point of the Peninsula, next to
Thompsons Island, to the high steep Rock, from where the Squaw
threw herself, who gave the Name to the Place. It is an hideous Craggy
Precipice, nodding over the Ocean forty feet in hight. The Rocks seem to be a vast Collection of Pebbles,
as big as hens Eggs, thrown into melted Cement, and cooled in. You may pull
them to Pieces with your Fingers, as fast as you Please.
Various have been the Conjectures of the Learned, concerning this sort of
Rocks. Upon this Part of the Peninsula, [illegible] is
a Number of Trees, which appear very much like the Lime Tree, of
Europe, which Gentlemen are so fond of Planting in their Gardens
for their beauty.
Returned to Mr. Borlands, and dined, and after
noon rode to
Germantown, where we spent our Evening. Deacon Palmer
shewed us his Lucern, growing in his Garden,
and of which he has cutt, as he tells us,
four Crops this Year. The Deacon had his Lucern seeds of Mr.
Abington, who had his of judge Oliver. The
Deacon watered his but twice this summer, and intends to expose it uncovered,
to all the Weather of the Winter for a fair Tryal,
whether it will endure our Winters or not. Each of his four Crops had attained
a good Length. It has a rich fragrance for a Grass. He shewed us a Cut of it, in "Nature displayed," and another
of St. Foin, and another of Trefoil. The Cut of the Lucern was exact enough.
The Pod in which the seeds are is an odd Thing, a kind of Rams horn or
We had a good deal of Conversation upon Husbandry. The Deacon has about 70
Bushells of Potatoes, this Year on about 1/4 of an
Acre of Ground.
Trees of several sorts considered. The wild Cherry Tree. Bears a Fruit of
some Value. The Wood is very good for the Cabinet-Maker, and is not bad to
burn. It is a tree of much Beauty. Its leaves and Bark are handsome, and its
shape. -- The Locust, good Timber, fattening to soil, by its Leaves, Blossoms
&c. Good Wood, quick growth, &c. -- The Larch Tree. There is but one in
the Country, that in the Lieutenant Governors Yard at Milton. It looks somewhat
like an Evergreen but is not. Sheds its Leaves.
I read in Thompsons Travels, in
Asia, mention of a Turpentine called by the Name of the
Turpentine of Venice, which is not the Produce of
Venice but of
Dauphine, and flows from the Larch Tree. It is thick and
balsamic and used in several Arts, particularly that of Enameling.
At my Swamp. Saw several Ginger Bushes. They Grow in Bunches like Willows
and Alders, in low Grounds, between Upland and Meadows. They grow Eight
feet high, and about an Inch thro
at the Butt. They have Bark of a dark
, speckled over with little, white rough Spots,
near the Ends of the [illegible]
they branch out into a Multitude of little Sprigs. The Bush I saw
had shed all its Leaves. All over the Branches and sprigs, are little fresh
Buds at this season. It has a spicy Taste. The Spriggs and Buds and Bark have a
Tirrell has cleared away all the Trees and Bushes, Willows,
Alders, Arrow Wood, Dog Wood, Briars, Grape Vines, Elms, Ashes, Oaks, Birches,
&c. that grew upon the Brook and burned them.
rise. My Thoughts have taken a
sudden Turn to Husbandry. Have contracted with Jo. T
to clear my swamp and to build me a long
string of stone Wall, and with Isaac
to build me 16 Rods more and with
Jo Field to build me 6 Rods more. And my Thoughts are running
continually from the orchard to the Pasture and from thence to the swamp, and
thence to the House and Barn and Land adjoining. Sometimes I am at the orchard
Ploughing up Acre after Acre and Planting, pruning Apple Trees, mending Fences,
carting Dung. Sometimes in the Pasture, digging stones, clearing Bushes,
Pruning Trees, building Wall to redeem Posts and Rails, and sometimes removing
Button Trees down to my House.
Sometimes I am at the old swamp,
burning Bushes, digging stumps and Roots, cutting Ditches, across the Meadow,
and against my Uncle, and am sometimes at the other End of the Town, buying
Posts and Rails, to Fence against my Uncle and against the Brook, and am
sometimes Ploughing the Upland, with 6 Yoke of oxen, and planting Corn,
Potatoes, &c. and digging up the Meadow and sowing onions, planting
cabbages &c. &c.
Sometimes I am at the Homestead running Cross Fences, and planting Potatoes
by the Acre, and Corn by the two Acres, and running a Ditch along the Line
between me and Field, and a Fence along the Brook [against] my Brother and
another Ditch in the Middle from Fields Line to the Meadow. Sometimes am
Carting Gravel from the Neighboring Hills, and am sometimes Dust
from the streets upon the fresh Meadow. And sometimes plowing, sometimes
digging those Meadows, to introduce Clover and other English Grasses
The Cause of Jeffries Town Treasurer of
Boston and Sewal and sever and
Edwards and several others being suits for the Penalties
of Penalties arising by the Law of the Province for building and covering
those Building [s] not with slate nor Tile but with
Mr. Gridley made a Motion that those Actions should be
dismissed because the judges were all Interested in the Event of them. Two of
the judges vizt. being Wells and Foster
Hutchinson, being Inhabitants of
Boston, and the other two vizt. Eliakim
Hutchinson and Watts, having real Estates in that
Town, to the Poor of which those Penalties are appropriated. After a long
Wrangle, as usual when Trowbridge is in a Case, the Court
determined to continue the Action, that Application might be made to the
Governor and Council for Special Judges. Well Wells
and Foster declining to set, and Watts
The Case of a Witness was mentioned in the Argument. A Witness cannot
depose, when he is interested. A Juryman may be challenged who is interested.
Persons belonging to Corporations, are allowed
for the Necessity to testify, in Cases where those Corporations are interested.
And Jurymen and
belonging to this
Province sat in the Case of Gray and Paxton,
interested, for the Necessity.
This Motion Mr. G. said could not be reduced to a Written
Plea. He could not plead to the jurisdiction of the Court. The Court of Common
Pleas had undoubted jurisdiction of the Cause but the judges could not set
because interested. Their Honours were not the Court
of Common Pleas but the justices of the Court of Common Pleas. The Court of
Common Pleas was a Body Politic, an invisible system, a frame in the Mind, a
fiction of the Law. The President and Fellows of H. [Harvard]
Colledge are not H.C.
The Case in Strange was produced, in which Ld. Raymond went
off the Bench, the Parish of Abbots Langley in which his Lordship lived being
interested. An order of 2 Justices for the Removal of a Pauper, confined by the
Sessions was carried to B.R. [Bancus Regis or King's Bench] by
Authorities from Hobarts and Cokes Rep. [Reports]
produced, to shew
the Tenderness of the Law for this
Maxim that a Man shall not be judge in his own Cause, and that an Act of
natural Equity as that a Man should be
judge in his own
Cause would be void.
Mem. After the Court had given judgment Mr.
Gridley moved for a Minute of the Reasons of the Judgment. Wells said
the Court was not accountable to the Bar for their Reasons. But
Otis said the Courts at Home never refused their Reasons for
any judgment when the Bar requested them. Because if the Bar are left ignorant
of the Reasons the Court go upon, they will not know how to advise and direct
their Clients. And after some Debate, the Clerk was ordered to minute the
Reason for the Continuance, which was that three of the judges apprehended
themselves interested and so not a Court competent to try the Cause.
G. contended that if the Court should continue the Causes,
they could not refuse setting on the Tryal, because,
continuin? an Imparlance was a Judicial Act, and so an Assumption of
Jurisdiction. F. [Foster ]
H. [Hutchinson] said that Dismissing the
Actions would be a judicial Act, as much as Continuing.
Last Thurdsday Night, at Cranch's Wedding, Dr. Tufts, in the Room
where the Gentlemen were, said We used to have on these Occasions, some good
Matrimonial stories, to raise our spirits. The story of B.
Bicknal's Wife is a very clever one. She said, when she was married
she was very anxious, she feared, she trembled, she could not go to Bed. But
she recollected she had put her Hand to the Plow and could not look back,
so she committed her so she mustered up her Spirits, committed her
soul to G. [God] and her Body to B. Bicknal
and into Bed she leaped and in the Morning she was amazed, she could not think
for her Life what it was that had scared her so.
[could be either Robert Treat Paine or, less likely,
Joseph Palmer ] told a story of Elisha
Marsh No. 2. when he was first married.
Q. [Quere] The Humanity, The Utility, the Policy, the
Piety of the sanguinary Laws against Robbery and Stealing.
Mr. Cranch last fryday
discovered some Instances of his skill at a Bargain. He agreed to give
Greenleaf 120 old Ten [Tenor]
his Chaise. The Chaise is old, the Leather damnifyed thro
careless Usage, the Wheels almost ruined, the spokes
being loose &c., but G. asked that Price and he could not
beat him down, he could not ask him to take less, because
was poor, and it would look like
Ungenerosity or Narrowness of Purse to desire it for less. This he was
headstrong enough to do, against the Parsons repeated and enforced Advice. But
a worse Instance of his Tameness and Credulity happened afterwards.
G. offered him his Horse, told him the Horse stood him in
10 L. [Lawful]
and was an
excellent Horse in the Harness tho
unpleasant in a
saddle. Cranch believed every Word he said, and was so secret
about his Bargain, that he would not make it before me, who was then at his
House but he must finish it, abroad, without Questioning the Horses Virtues or
Abilities, or asking any Questions about the Price. He is to give 50 for
the Horse. I would not give .10, for he is dull and lean, and weak,
looks meanly [illegible]
and goes worse. -- Thus the Man was
fairly cheated in jockey language Out Of 50, in one Hour. Besides his
Buying the Horse was a
Piece of ridiculous Foppery, at this Time.
He had no Occasion for one. He cannot use one much this Winter, and it will
cost him 3 Times so much as that Horse is worth to keep him till spring.
Thus Vanity, Credulity,
Miserably bubbled by his own Vanity and Credulity.
At Goldthwaits office, spent 1 /4. of an Hour with
Lt. Govr. Hutchinson. The first thing he said was a Question
to Goldthwait, what was the Date of the Earlyest Records of
the County Court? Goldthwait answered 1670. His Honor replyed
there were County Courts for 40 Years before that -- and said he wanted to
settle something in his own Mind, concerning the origin and Constitution of the
Courts. That Adultery was punished with death, by the first settlers, and many
other offences were made capital, that are not now so. That Commissioners were
sent over by K. [King]
C. [Charles] in 1665, to enquire into the Constitution of the Colonies,
tho their Authority was not owned.
Goldthwait said, there were a great many odd Entries. One of a
Prosecution of a Man for taking 6d. for an Horse, a
Braintree man too, as unjust and unrighteous. His Honor told of
a Record of a Woman condemned, for Adultery, because a Man had debauched her
when she was drunk, and of another of a Boy imprisoned for a Capital
Tryal for some of their trifling capital Crimes,
stealing from his Master or something, which Boy was liberated by the
Commissioners of 1665.
The story of Prats Death was told. His Honor said it would
be a Loss to his family. He was in a fair Way to have raised it. But the New
Yorkers will be glad of it. -- This to be sure was Familiarity and Affability!
But Goldthwait cringed down, and put on the timid, fawning
face and Air and Tone.
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Inside Back Cover
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