The British government was no doubt surprised by the outpouring of opposition and resistance to the Stamp Act since British citizens had been paying similar taxes for years. Caught unawares by the level of opposition, in both the colonies and at home, the King's Ministers beat a hasty retreat and repealed the hated Stamp taxes. According to this pamphlet printed in New Haven, Connecticut, what was the reported effect of repeal in Britain? What impact do you think this "victory" might have had on the colonists in the future?
Constitutional LIBERTY Revives!
New-Haven, Monday-Morning, May 19, 1766
Mr. Jonathan Lowder brought the following most agreeable Intelligence from Boston.
BOSTON, Friday 11 o'Clock, 16th May, 1766.
THIS Instant arrived here the Brig Harrison, belonging to John Hancock, Esq; Captain Shaubael Coffin in 6 Weeks and 2 Days from LONDON, with important News as follows.
From the London Gazette.
Westminster, March 18th, 1766.
THIS day His Majesty came to the House of Peers, and being in his royal robes seated on the Throne with the usual solemnity, Sir Francis Molineaux, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, was sent with a Message from His Majesty to the House of Commons, commanding their attendance in the House of Peers. The Commons being come thither accordingly, His Majesty was pleased to give his Royal Assent to An ACT to REPEAL an Act made in the last Session of Parliament, intitled an Act for granting and applying certain Stamp-Duties and other Duties in the British Colonies and Plantations in America, towards further defraying the Expences of defending, protecting and securing the same, and for amending such parts of the several Acts of Parliament relating to the trade and revenues of the said Colonies and Plantations, as direct the Manner of determining and recovering the penalities and forteitures therein mentioned.
Also ten publick bills, and seventeen private ones.
Yesterday there was a meeting of the principal Merchants concerned with the American trade, at the King's Arms tavern in Cornhill, to consider of an Address to his Majesty on the beneficial Repeal of the late Stamp-Act.
Yesterday morning about eleven o'clock a great number of North-American Merchants went in their coaches from the King's Arms tavern in Cornhill to the House of Peers, to pay their duty to his Majesty, and to exprfess their satisfaction at his signing the Bill for Repealing the Stamp-Act, there were upwards of fifty coaches in the procession.
Last night the said gentlemen dispatched an express for Falmouth with fifteen copies of the act, for repealing the Stamp-Act to be forwarded immediately for New-York.
Orders are given for several Merchantmen in the river to proceed to sea immediately on their respective voyages to North-America, some of whom have been cleared since the first of November last.
Yesterday messengers were dispatched to Birmingham, Sheffild, Manchester, and all the great manufacturing towns in England, with an account of the final decision of an august assemply relating to the Stamp-Act.
When the King went to the House of Peers to give the Royal Assent, there was such a vast Concourse of People, huzzaing, clapping Hands, Etc. that it was several Hours before His Majesty reached the House.
Immediately on His Majesty's Signing the Royal Assent to the Repeal of the Stamp-Act, the Merchants trading to America, dispatched a Vessel which had been waiting, to put into the first Port on the Continent with the Account.
There were the greatest Rejoicings possible in the City of London, by all Ranks of People, on the TOTAL Repeal of the Stamp Act. The Ships in the River displayed all their Colours, Illuminations and Bonfires in many Parts. In short, the Rejoicings were as great as evern was known on any Occasion.
It is said the Acts of Trade relating to America would be taken under Consideration, and all Grievances removed. The Friends of America are very powerful, and disposed to [assist] us to the utmost of their Ability.
It is impossible to express the Joy the Town is now in, on receiving the above great, glorious and important News. The Bells in al the Churches were immediately set a Ringing, and we hear the Day for a generaly Rejoicing will be the Beginning of next Week.