The Arrival of Governor Jonathan Belcher (1682-1757)


On Saturday last, about the middle of the Afternoon we were notified by a Signal from Castle WILLIAM, of the near Approach of His Excellency Governour BELCHER, in His Majesties Ship of War, appointed for his Transportation; which could reach no further that Night, than the Mouth or Entrance of the NARROWS. Here His Excellency was waited upon, as soon as possible, by an honourable Committee from the General Assembly, with a Number of other Gentlemen, who were all received and entertained with that Nobleness and Affability which is natural to the Governour. The usual Services of the Sabbath were attended by His Excellency at the Castle, with decent & religious Solemnity.

At the opening of the following Day, was the Town of Boston in a voluntary Alarm, preparing for His Excellency’s Reception and Entertainment. The Troup and Militia were collected, and ranged in the Street below the Town-House to martial Order, to welcome their Captain-General. The Turrets & Balconies were hung with Carpets, and almost every Vessel was blazon’d with a rich Variety of Colours.

Between the Hours of Ten & Eleven His Excellency was pleased to embark for the place of his wonted Residence, with a great Number of Boats and Pinnaces to attend Him, while His Majesties Cannon were playing, to inform the Town of his Approach.

At length the great Object of our Hopes, and reverent Affection, was received and congratulated at the End of the Long-Wharffe, by the Honourable Lieutenant Governour and Council, the Judges and Justices, and an almost numberless Multitude of Gentlemen Spectators. Several Standards and Ensigns were erected on the Top of Fort-Hill, and at CLARK’s Wharffe at the North part of the Town, and a number of Cannon planted; which were all handsomely Discharged at the Arrival of His Excellency, and followed with such Huzza’s as inspired the whole Town: The Bells all ringing on the joyful Occasion.

While the Pomp was making its orderly Procession, the Guns, which were bursting in every part of the Town, were answered in mild & rumbling Peals by the Artillery of Heaven, which introduced the plentiful and refreshing Showers that succeeded a very dry Season.

After His Majesty’s Commission was opened and exhibited in the [Council] Chamber, and the usual Ceremonies were concluded, the vast Multitude of Spectators without, express’d, in their united Shouts, an unusual Joy and Elevation of Soul. The Troops and Regiment discharged their Duty in triple [volley]; and again were the Cannon [roaring at] the Batteries in every part of this Town, and at Charlestown, by which the Country was acquainted with the joyful Proclamation.

From the Court-House, His Excellency was conducted by his Civil and Military Attendants, to a splendid Entertainment at the BUNCH OF GRAPES, and after Dinner to his own pleasant & beautiful Seat [estate].

The Afternoon was spent in firing, and other innocent Expressions of Joy; and the Evening concluded with a Bonfire and Illuminations.

And now we would take the Liberty to conclude this Account with our ardent Desire, That His Excellency’s Opportunity of serving his native Country, may be lengthened out in Proportion to his noble Capacity and Inclination; and that after a long and prosperous Administration below, he may rise to a Crown and Kingdom in the Realms of Immortality.

— (From: The New-England Weekly Journal, No. 177, Tuesday, August 11, 1730 [S. Kneeland and T. Green, Printers].)

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