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Circular letter from Wills Hill, Marquis of Downshire to colonial governors
Downshire, Wills Hill, Marquis of, 1718-1793
September 28, 1770
Volume 08, Pages 229-230

[B. P. R. O. America & W. Indies. Vol. 274.]
Circular—Most secret and Confidential—To the Governors of North Carolina and eighteen other Colonies which are named.


Whitehall 28th Septr 1770.

The King having received advices that the Spanish Govr of Buenos Ayres hath thought fit to dispossess His Majesty's subjects of their settlements at Port Egmont in Falklands Islands, so violent a proceeding in time of profound peace will, unless disavowed by the Court of Spain, and proper restitution made, be considered as an open act of hostility, and therefore the King hath thought fit with the advice of his servants to command a considerable naval Armament to be prepared in order to act as the honor and dignity of His Crown shall under future events require.

The Suspending or increasing this Naval Armament will probably depend on the Answer which the Court of Spain shall give to what has been demanded on this occasion, which the King has good reason to hope will correspond with His Majesty's wishes for the preservation of the Public peace. In the mean time you cannot be too attentive to security of the Colony [Islands] under your Government nor too early in your consideration of what may be necessary for its [their] protection and defence in case matters should,

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contrary to His Majesty's just expectations, come to extremities, in which case you may be assured, that the security of our possessions in America will be a principal object of His Majesty's care and attention.

I am &c.
HILLSBOROUGH.

P. S. Since I wrote the above letter farther Advices from the Court of France have been communicated to me which confirm us in our hopes that the Peace may still be preserved. H.