Dearest Agatha

You will have heard of the shocking acts of public disorder here in our quiet little corner of the world. Dear Mr Horner and I are horrified at the most recent event, when a large group, dressed as savages and armed with axes, invaded private property and destroyed more than nine hundred thousand pounds of goods and the chests those goods were stored in.

The protests in March were bad enough. One must regret the loss of life when the soldiers opened fire on the crowd, but beyond a doubt, the protesters started it when they threw snowballs at a guard outside the Custom House. I think (and Mr Horner agrees with me) that the soldiers in question deserve a strong reprimand for firing on the mob, though we agree that we were not present, and cannot understand how threatening the protestors appeared to the poor soldiers.

However, the protests have escalated, with rocks thrown through windows, printed death threats sent to upright citizens who were just going about their business, and people assaulted and beaten.

Politics have invaded even our drawing rooms and breakfast tables, with social shame awaiting those who dare to continue to imbibe their favourite beverage. One of my friends went so far as to suggest that we should no longer associate, as I refuse to give up a harmless drink to support treasonous mutterings against the rightful actions of government.

Then came the activities of last night. How can any right-thinking person think that a political disagreement justifies the destruction of private property? I shudder to think of the way the perpetrators of the heinous act menaced their way to dominance of the goods by their fearsome appearance and their numbers. The poor sailors on board that ship must have been in fear of their lives.

Of course, I support the right to freedom of speech, but rioting and looting cannot be supported, surely? So Mr Horner says, and I quite agree with him.

I have asked Mr Horner if we might return to London, dearest Agatha. So many people here, however upset they are with the destruction of property, are claiming that the anger behind the act is justified that I fear they may turn to even more violence.

Mr Horner disagrees. He believes that strong action from the government will ensure that everything settles down. He points out that even Mr Washington, who is a leader of the most vocal party of radicals, has spoken strongly against the most recent action, accusing the participants of madness. After all, nobody wants a revolution.

I can only hope that Mr Horner is correct.

I will keep you informed, my dear. Pray for me and for all of those loyal to our beloved Mother Country and the King.

Ever your loving sister


(Mrs John Horner)

The Boston Tea Party was one in a series of protests against coercive acts by the government against the citizens of the American colonies. At the time, to be loyal was to want to stay British.

The tea belonged to the East India Company, not to the British government. However, the government had given the Company a monopoly on tea imports to the American colonies.

The stupid Government reaction to the protests meant that they escalated and eventually became full-scale revolution. In light of modern events, I find it intriguing that the destruction of one million dollars (in today’s terms) of private property is now regarded as a heroic act.