's “Abstract,” at note
below, reports that the case came up on the petition of James Cockle, Collector at
Salem, at the Nov. 1760 term of the Essex Superior Court, an assertion which
repeated in later writings. See, for example,
to Tudor, 29 March 1817, 10 JA, Works
246–247. Cockle's petition has not been found, and there is no indication in the
appropriate Minute Book that he, or any other officer, had applied for a writ in Nov.
1760. Quincy, Reports (Appendix)
409. Moreover, since the news of George II's death was not received in Boston until
27 Dec. 1760 (Id. at 411), the application certainly was made at a later date. That
Paxton was first to apply is indicated by the facts that his was the first writ granted,
and that Quincy's account is entitled “Paxton's Case.” See note 27
below. Hutchinson also says that an officer applied first. 3 Hutchinson, Massachusetts Bay, ed. Mayo
, 68. There are no Minute Books for the 1761 terms of the Suffolk Superior Court,
but the files and records support the conclusion that the petitions of Greene et al.
and Lechmere were filed at the Feb. term 1761, and that the final decision reached
at the Nov. adjournment of the Aug. term was on these petitions. See Petition of Greene
et al., Petition of Lechmere, SF
100515b, printed in Quincy, Reports (Appendix)
412–414. See entries, “Greene et al. Petn.,” and “Lechmere, Survr. Genl. his petition,”
on otherwise blank leaves, SCJ Rec.
1760–1761, fols. 225–226; and see, generally, Quincy, Reports (Appendix)