Sir Francis Bernard
Painting: by Giovanni Battista Troccoli, 1925

Royal Governor of Massachusetts: 1760-1769

As the Governor of New Jersey, Sir Francis Bernard had impressed that Legislature by winning concessions from England on monetary policy. He also impressed the Crown by aggressively defending the Colony from attack by native tribes.

Massachusetts promised to be a more complex assignment for Bernard, who was commissioned as the Royal Governor of Massachusetts in 1760. Though his first years were generally successful, he lost popular favor because he enforced the Stamp Act and other laws to which the colonists objected.

Though trained in the law, Bernard exercised his hand at architecture while in Boston. Bernard designed Harvard Hall in 1764, the first building constructed for the college. Governor Bernard also left his mark by naming Berkshire County after his home county in England and the town Bernardston after himself.

Bernard advocated sending American colonists to represent themselves in the British Parliament, which was unpopular with both the English and the revolutionaries. When controversial letters he had written to English officials were published in Boston's newspapers, he lost the ability to govern and was recalled to London.