British statesman and orator; gained a high position among the Whigs through his eloquence on the American question and vigorous opposition to George III’s policy of court domination and arbitrary rule; advocated liberal treatment on the American colonies.
Autograph Letter Signed, Edm Burke, one page, oblong small quarto, Westminster, October 6, 1775. To an unnamed correspondent.
“You will be so good to excuse the Liberty I take with you, but I conceive that your Office is the regular channel for information in the point I want to enquire about. A petition from Bristol on the American affairs is sent to me to be presented to the King. I shall take it as a favour, if you will inform me of the preliminary steps which ought to be taken, or if any at all be proper. I would fain do everything of this sort in the most respectful manner possible; but am, you will believe me, very unfortunately, ignorant of all the forms of Court & of Office.”
Edmund Burke and James Fox were at this time the leaders of the opposition to Lord North’s American policy, believing it to be unjust and oppressive. Earlier that year Edmund Burke had presented a petition to Parliament setting out the injuries suffered by Wiltshire clothiers from the American troubles and had used the occasion to try and bring the government to peace, his motion being rejected by what the opposition regarded a creditable 210 votes to 105. Parliament was due to meet again on October 26. Meanwhile, the Battle of Bunker Hill had been fought on June 17 and the Declaration of Independence was, of course, to come the following year. The king’s touchiness when it came to the subject of his American colonies is well known, and this may well explain the rather hesitant tone of the present letter.
This item is associated with the following category in our inventory:
- American Revolution