Hutchison, Thomas

Hutchinson, Thomas (1711-1780) Governor of Massachusetts: Born in Boston, Hutchinson became a well-educated, cautious man, and he applied his skills to the service of his home colony. He was an elected representative of Massachusetts in 1737, then served as a royal official and as the colony's historian. Hutchinson believed that in a constitutional imperial relationship, both the mother country and the colony should have the right to pursue their own interests. Nevertheless, the supremacy of Parliament must ultimately win out over the power of the colonies, in order to give any significance to the empire's existence. This view made Hutchinson unpopular among some, as shown in the 1765 burning of his house by rioters angry at the Stamp Act. He became the last royal governor of Massachusetts in 1771, and was the victim of the patriots' ill feeling and discontent with Britain. His opponents called him a traitor to his country for siding with the British, and he moved with his family to England after the Coercive Acts were implemented. There he completed his History of the Colony of Massachusetts-Bay.