Thomas Hutchinson, Colonial Governor of Massachusetts (1711 - 1780)

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Birthplace: Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
Death: Died in London /Brompton, Essex, England
Occupation: Governor of Massachusetts
Managed by: Martin Severin Eriksen
Last Updated:

About Thomas Hutchinson, Colonial Governor of Massachusetts

Governors of Massachusetts

Thomas Hutchinson (1711-1780)

Acting Royal Governor of Massachusetts (June through August 1760) Acting Royal Governor of Massachusetts (August 1769-November 1770) Royal Governor of Massachusetts (1770-1774)

Thomas Hutchinson was Governor during the difficult years leading to the American Revolution. He was very much "of Boston," but of an English Boston, to which he was earnestly loyal throughout his life.

Hutchinson had deep American roots. He was a descendent of Anne Hutchinson, who was expelled from Boston for her religious beliefs in the 1630s. He was born in Boston, attended Harvard earning a Master of Arts before entering business. He was a member of Boston's Board of Selectmen (1737) and was popularly elected to the Legislature where he served almost continuously until 1749. He served as a member of the state council, was Chief Justice of the Superior Court, and eventually Lieutenant Governor.

He resisted Boston's gradual drift away from England and perceived the revolution was stoked by hotheads, seizing on miniscule issues, which they used to inflame sentiments. Hutchinson was unflinchingly rational and held an enmity for the revolutionary radicals. They returned this feeling, when in 1765, as a mob they attacked and looted his personal residence.

After this attack, Hutchinson began to secretly advise England to move to forcefully restrain the Colony. As the town filled with English troops, he entreated them to take the greatest care, as the slightest tragedy would spread like flames through the province and perhaps beyond. Exactly that happened on March 5, 1770, when a group of unarmed men threatened English soldiers. The soldiers shot and killed five of them. Acting Governor Hutchinson, already hated by revolutionaries faced as serious a crisis as any Massachusetts Governor has ever seen.

The morning after what would later be called the Boston Massacre, Boston's selectmen demanded that Hutchinson order the English troops from Boston or see more "blood and carnage." He claimed as acting Governor he held no authority over the King's troops. Further, he matched their threat, ordering that anyone caught advising or provoking an attack on the troops would face charges of high treason, which he would enforce personally. Hutchinson's aggressive response, along with a quiet withdrawal of the involved regiment kept the peace, but it drew a final line between himself and his revolutionary countrymen. Having shown where his loyalty lay, Hutchinson was finally made Royal Governor in his own right in November 1770.

As Governor, he went on to support a popularly hated, though seemingly harmless Tea Tax in 1773. However, protest turned to assault when protestors dressed as "savages" threw crates of tea into the Boston harbor, rather than pay the tax. After the "Boston Tea Party," thousands of English soldiers flooded the city to enforce the rule of law. Hutchinson was now widely hated in his homeland, which ceased being the British Boston of his birth. Within six months he boarded a ship to England, where he would finish his life in exile and write the seminal History of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay. --------------------------------------------------------- Thomas Hutchinson From Wikipedia

Thomas Hutchinson (September 9, 1711 – June 3, 1780) was the American colonial governor of Massachusetts from 1771 to 1774 and a prominent Loyalist in the years before the American Revolutionary War.

Hutchinson was born in Boston, where his father, the great-grandson of Anne Hutchinson, was a wealthy merchant and ship owner. He was a highly intelligent man who graduated from Harvard in 1727 before his sixteenth birthday. He entered his father's counting room, early showed remarkable aptitude for business, and by the time he was 24 had accumulated considerable property in trading ventures on his own account. He married Margaret Sanford in 1734-a granddaughter of Rhode Island Governor Peleg Sandford and a great granddaughter of both Rhode Island Governor William Coddington and of Anne Hutchinson.

As his career advanced he became involved in the civil leadership of the colony, first as a selectman in Boston in 1737. Later in the same year he was chosen a representative to the General Court of the Colony and at once took a strong stand in opposition to the views of the majority with regard to a proper currency. His unpopular opinions led to his retirement in 1740. In that year he went to England as a commissioner to represent Massachusetts in a boundary dispute with New Hampshire. In 1742 he was re-elected to the General Court, and was chosen annually to the General Court until 1749, serving as the Speaker from 1746 to 1749. He continued his advocacy of a sound currency, and when the British Parliament reimbursed Massachusetts in 1749 for the expenses incurred in the Louisburg expedition, he proposed the abolition of the bills of credit, and the utilization of the parliamentary repayment as the basis for a new Colonial currency. The proposal was finally adopted by the Assembly, and its good effect on the trade of the Colony at once established Hutchinson's reputation as a financier.

On leaving the General Court in 1749 he was appointed at once to the Governor's Council. In 1750 he was chairman of a commission to arrange a treaty with the Indians in the District of Maine, and he served on boundary commissions to settle disputes with Connecticut and Rhode Island. In 1752 he was appointed judge of probate and a justice of the Common Pleas. In 1754, as a delegate from Massachusetts to the Albany Convention, he took a leading part in the discussions and favored Franklin's plan for Colonial union.

In 1758 he was appointed Lieutenant Governor, and in 1760 Chief Justice, of the Province. In the following year, by issuing writs of assistance, he brought upon himself a storm of protest and criticism. His distrust of popular government as exemplified in the New England town meeting increased. Although he opposed the principle of the Stamp Act, considered it impolitic, and later advised its repeal, he accepted its legality, and, as a result of his stand, his city house was sacked by a mob in August, 1765, and his valuable collection of books and manuscripts destroyed.

In 1769, upon the resignation of Governor Francis Bernard, he became acting Governor, serving in that capacity at the time of the Boston Massacre, March 5, 1770, when popular clamor compelled him to order the removal of the troops from the city.

In March, 1771, he received his commission as Governor, and was the last civilian governor of the Massachusetts colony. His administration, controlled completely by the British ministry, increased the friction with the patriots. The publication, in 1773, of some letters on Colonial affairs written by Hutchinson, and obtained by Franklin in England, still further aroused public indignation, and led the ministry to see the necessity for stronger measures. The temporary suspension of the civil government followed, and General Gage was appointed military governor in April, 1774. Driven from the country by threats in the following May and broken in health and spirit, Hutchinson spent the rest of his life an exile in England.

Hutchinson had built a country estate in Milton, Massachusetts. Although the house is now gone, the original "ha-ha" of the estate remains today beside Governor Hutchinson's Field, maintained by the Trustees of Reservations.

In England, still nominally Governor, he was consulted by Lord North in regard to American affairs; but his advice that a moderate policy be adopted, and his opposition to the Boston Port Bill, and the suspension of the Massachusetts constitution, were not heeded.

His American estates were confiscated, and he was compelled to refuse a baronetcy on account of lack of means. He died at Brompton, now a part of London, aged 68.

He wrote a History of Massachusetts Bay (volume i, 1764; volume ii, 1767; volume iii, 1828) a work of great historical value, calm, and judicious in the main, but entirely unphilosophical and lacking in style. His Diary and Letters was published in 1884–86. This article incorporates text from an edition of the New International Encyclopedia that is in the public domain.

Literature Bernard Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson (Cambridge, 1974) J. K. Hosmer, Life of Thomas Hutchinson (Boston, 1896) Vernon Parrington, Main Currents in American Thought (1927) Person ID I11343

http://capecodhistory.us/genealogy/getperson.php?personID=I11343&tree=Nauset

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Hutchinson_(governor)

Thomas Hutchinson (9 September 1711 – 3 June 1780) was the British royal governor of colonial Massachusetts from 1771 to 1774 and a prominent Loyalist in the years before the American Revolution.

Views

Although Thomas Hutchinson believed in the supremacy of Parliament, he was opposed to the Stamp Act of 1765. Nevertheless, he attempted to enforce the tax, believing both that it was his duty and that Parliament had the legal authority to impose it. This stubbornness and refusal to publicly oppose Parliament contributed to Hutchinson's great unpopularity among Bostonians and other North American colonists. His apparent support for the Stamp Act provoked a mob of colonists opposed to the tax into destroying his mansion and its extensive library in 1765. Hutchinson became a symbol of unpopular Toryism in the American colonies.[1]

Early life

Hutchinson was born in Boston. He showed remarkable aptitude for business early on, and by the time he was 24 had accumulated considerable property in trading ventures on his own account. He married Margaret Sanford in 1734-who was a granddaughter of Rhode Island Governor Peleg Sandford; Hutchinson was a great grandson of both Rhode Island Governor William Coddington and of Anne Hutchinson.

As his career advanced he became involved in the civil leadership of the colony, first as a selectman in Boston in 1737. Later in the same year he was chosen a representative to the Massachusetts General Court and at once took a strong stand in opposition to the views of the majority with regard to a proper currency. His unpopular opinions led to his retirement in 1740. In that year he went to England as a commissioner to represent Massachusetts in a boundary dispute with New Hampshire. In 1742 he was re-elected to the General Court, and was chosen annually to the General Court until 1749, serving as the Speaker from 1746 to 1749. He continued his advocacy of a sound currency, and when the British Parliament reimbursed Massachusetts in 1749 for the expenses incurred in the Louisbourg expedition, he proposed the abolition of the bills of credit, and the utilisation of the parliamentary repayment as the basis for a new Colonial currency. The proposal was finally adopted by the Assembly, and its good effect on the trade of the colony at once established Hutchinson's reputation as a financier.

On leaving the General Court in 1749 he was appointed at once to the Governor's Council. In 1750 he was chairman of a commission to arrange a treaty with the Indians in the District of Maine, which was then part of Massachusetts, and he served on boundary commissions to settle disputes with Connecticut and Rhode Island. In 1752 he was appointed judge of probate and a justice of the Common Pleas. In 1754, as a delegate from Massachusetts to the Albany Convention, he took a leading part in the discussions and favoured Benjamin Franklin's plan for colonial union.

In 1758 he was appointed Lieutenant Governor, and in 1760 Chief Justice, of the Province. In the following year, by issuing writs of assistance, he brought upon himself a storm of protest and criticism. His distrust of popular government as exemplified in the New England town meeting increased. Although he opposed the principle of the Stamp Act, considered it impolitic, and later advised its repeal, he accepted its legality, and, as a result of his stand, his city house was ransacked by a mob in August 1765, and his valuable collection of books was destroyed. For many years he had been working on a history of the colony, compiling original manuscripts and source materials. After the destruction of his home, he bitterly rescued many of these materials from the muddy road.

Governor of Massachusetts

In 1769, upon the resignation of Governor Francis Bernard, he became acting Governor, serving in that capacity at the time of the Boston Massacre, 5 March 1770, when popular clamour compelled him to order the removal of the troops from the city.

In March 1771, he received his commission as Governor, and was the last civilian governor of the Massachusetts colony. His administration, controlled completely by the British ministry, increased the friction with the patriots. The publication, in 1773, of some letters on colonial affairs written by Hutchinson, and obtained by Franklin in England, still further aroused public indignation. In England, while Hutchinson was vindicated in discussions in the Privy Council, Franklin was severely criticised and fired as a colonial postmaster general. The resistance of the colonials led the ministry to see the necessity for stronger measures. A temporary suspension of the civil government followed, and General Gage was appointed military governor in April 1774.

Driven from the country by threats in the following May and broken in health and spirit, Hutchinson spent the rest of his life an exile in England.

Exile in Britain

In England, still nominally Governor, he was consulted by Lord North in regard to American affairs; but his advice that a moderate policy be adopted, and his opposition to the Boston Port Bill, and the suspension of the Massachusetts charter, were not heeded.

While he was still officially the acting governor, he was compelled to refuse a baronetcy because of the severe financial losses when his American estates and other property in Massachusetts were confiscated by the new government without compensation by the Crown. Bitter and disillusioned, Hutchinson, nevertheless, continued to work on his history of the colony which was the fruit of many decades of research. Two volumes were published in his lifetime. His History of Massachusetts Bay (volume i, 1764; volume ii, 1767; volume iii, 1828) a work of great historical value, calm, and judicious in the main, but considered by some to be entirely unphilosophical and lacking in style. His Diary and Letters was published in 1884–86. He died at Brompton, now a part of London, on 3 June 1780, aged 68.

Hutchinson had built a country estate in Milton, Massachusetts, part of which, Governor Hutchinson's Field is owned by The Trustees of the Reservations and is open to the public. He built a garden behind the house, which is on the National Register of Historic Places as Gov. Thomas Hutchinson's Field.

Literature

Bernard Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson (Cambridge, 1974)

J. K. Hosmer, Life of Thomas Hutchinson (Boston, 1896)

Vernon Parrington, Main Currents in American Thought (1927), online

Hutchinson, Thomas, THE HISTORY OF MASSACHUSETTS: From the First Settlement Thereof in 1628 Until the Year 1750, 1764

"lord north" by ann hutchinson

-------------------- Thomas was the last royal governor of Massachusetts. 1771-1774

He was a prominent Loyalist before the revolutionary war.

He Graduated from Harvard 1727 before his 16th Birthday.

He was a selected men in 1737.

He was a representative to the general court in 1737.

His unpopular opionions led to his retirement of the general court in 1740.

Speaker from 1746-1749

In 1758 he became Lt Governor.

He opposed the Stamp Act as a result his house was ransacked in 1765.

In 1769 upon the resignation of Gov. Bernard he became acting Governor. Serviing at the time of the Boston Massacre.

In 1771 received his commision as Governor. -------------------- (f/g) Thomas Hutchinson Birth: Sep. 9, 1711 Boston Suffolk County Massachusetts, USA Death: Jun. 3, 1780, England

Graduate of Harvard College Class of 1727 Last Loyalist Governor of Massachusetts

Married May 16, 1734 Boston Mass

His ancestors Anthony Hutchinson and Isabel Harvery were also the ancestors of Mrs. Elizabeth {Hutchinson} Putnam a great great aunt of General Israel Putnam

Great grandson of religious dissident Anne Hutchinson; {Ironically his sister married a descendant of Rev Increase Mather and Rev Cotton Mather!} also a descendant of Rhode Island Governor William Coddington; his wife was a descendant of Rhode Island Governors William Coddington and Peleg Sandford

Note a Hutchinson Cousin also married into Winslow family

His daugther also married into the Oliver family becoming a daugther in law of Massachuetts Chief Justice Peter Oliver {Harvard Class of 1730} -who was related to Massachusetts Governor Jonathan Belcher and to New Hampshire Lt Governor William Partridge and to New Hampshire Lt. Governor George Vaughan {harvard Class of 1696}


Family links:

Parents:
 Thomas Hutchinson (1674 - 1739)
 Sarah Foster Hutchinson (1686 - 1752) 
Children:
 Peggy Hutchinson (____ - 1777)
 William Hutchinson (1753 - 1780)

Burial: St John the Baptist Churchyard Croydon Greater London, England Plot: Buried in vault Created by: P Fazzini Record added: Jun 11, 2010 Find A Grave Memorial# 53543371 -tcd

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Thomas Hutchinson, Colonial Governor of Massachusetts's Timeline

1711
September 9, 1711
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
1734
May 16, 1734
Age 22
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
1740
October 15, 1740
Age 29
Boston, Suffolk Co., MA
1745
December 24, 1745
Age 34
1750
1750
Age 38
1753
1753
Age 41
1771
1771
- 1774
Age 59
MA, USA

When the tensions between the Colony and the Crown were reaching the conflagration point. - Cape Cod: A Pictorial History, by M. Vuilleumier, pg. 64.

1780
June 3, 1780
Age 68
London /Brompton, Essex, England
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