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Circular letter from William Pitt, Earl of Chatham to the American governors
Pitt, William, Earl of Chatham, 1708-1778
September 16, 1757
Volume 05, Page 785

-------------------- page 785 --------------------
[B. P. R. O. Am: & W. Ind: Vol. 75.]
Circular to Govrs in North America

Whitehall Septr 16th 1757.

Sir

Monsr d'Abreu, Envoy Extraordinary from His Catholick Majesty, having lately delivered divers Complaints of Violence and Depredations, (particularly mentioned in the enclosed Paper) committed by His Majesty's Subjects in America, against Those of Spain; I am to inform You, that the King, seeing with the highest Disapprobation, the daily Growth of such scandalous Disorders, and having Nothing more at Heart, than to stop the Progress of Practices, which if not repressed, must involve His Majesty in odious Disputes with all the Neutral Powers of Europe, is determined to Exert the full Authority of the Law, in Vindication of the Justice of his Crown, and of the Honor of the British Nation; and, in this View, I am hereby to signify to You His Majesty's Pleasure, that you do enforce, with the utmost Vigor, the Observance of the Additional Instruction of Octr the 5th to all Privateers; and employ uncommon Care and Diligence effectually to prevent, and, if possible to cut up by the Roots, all Excesses and Enormities, alledged to be committed in Violation of the just Freedom of Navigation of His Catholick Majtys Subjects; And whereas, with regard to all Spanish Vessels, bound to a Port of Spain in America, the Case of Contreband cannot exist, It being self-evident, that no Effects whatever, carried by a Nation to Its own Ports, can, in any Case fall under that Description; It is His Majesty's Pleasure, that You do give the strictest Orders, that no Spanish Ship, under those circumstances, be disturbed or molested in their Navigation; and that, in case of Outrages or Depredations, committed on the same, you do your utmost to discover all such Violaters of Justice, and Disturbers of the Harmony subsisting between the Two Nations, & to bring the same to condign & exemplary Punishment.

I am &c
W. PITT.