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disastrous information, and taken him into the car. mon report, when I got to Pall-mall, between five riage, they instantly proceeded to the Chancellor's and six o'clock.--Lord Walsingham, who likewise house in Great Russell-street, Bloomsbury, whom dined there, was the only person present, except they found at home; when, after a short consulta lord George, who was acquainted with the fact.tion, they determined to lay it themselves, in per. The party, nine in number, sat down to table. I son, before lord North. He had not received any thought the master of the house appeared serious, intimation of the event when they arrived at his though he manifested no discomposure. Before the door, in Downing street, between 1 and 2 o'clock. dinner was finished, one of his servants delivered The first minisier's firmness, and even his presence him a letter, brought back by the messenger who of mind, gave way for a short time, under this awful bad been despatched to the king. Lord George disaster. I asked lord George afterwards, how opened and persued it: then looking at lord Wals. he took the communication, when made to him! ingham, to whom he exclusively directed bis "As he would bave taken a ball in his breast," observation, "The king writes" said he just as replied lord George. For he opened his arms, he always does, except that I observe be has cxclaiming wildly, as he paced up and down the omitted to mark the hour and the minute of his apartment during a few minutes, "Oh God! it is writing with his usual precision." This remark, all over!” Words which he repeated many times, though calculated to awaken some interest, excited under emotions of the deepest agitation and dis- no comment; and while the ladies, lord George's tress.
three daughters, remained in the room, we re
pressed our curiosity. But they had no sooner When the first agitation of their minds had
withdrawn, than lord George baving acquainted subsided, the four ministers discussed the ques.
us, that from Paris information bad just arrived tion, whether or not it might be expedient to
of the old Count de Maurepas, first minister, lying prorogue parliament for a few days; but, as scarcely
at the point of death: "It would grieve me,” said an interval of forty-eight hours remained before
1, "to finish my career, however far advanced in the appointed time of assembling, and as many years, were I first minister of France, before I had members of both houses were already either ar. witnessed the termination of this great contest be. rived in London, or on the road, that proposition tween England and America." "He has survived was abandoned. It became, however, indispensa.
to see that event,” replied lord George, with some ble to alter, and almost model anew the king's
agitation. Utterly unsuspicious of the fact which speech, which had been already drawn up, and
had happened beyond the Atlantic, I conceived completely prepared for delivery from the throne.
him to allude to the indecisive naval action fought This alteration was therefore made without delay; at the mouth of the Chesapeake, early in the preand at the same time, lord George Germain, as
ceding month of September, between admiral secretary for the American department, sent off a Graves and count de Grasse; which, in its results, despatch to bis majesty, who was then at Kew,might prove most injurious to ford Cornwallis. acquainted him with the melancholy termination Under this impression, “my meaning,” said 1, "is of lord Cornwallis's expedition. Some bours bav. that if I were the Count de Maurepas, I should ing elapsed, before these different, but necessary wish to live long enough, to behold the final issue acts of business could take place, the ministers of the war in Virginia." "He has survived to separated, and lord George Germain repaired to witness it completely;” answered lord Georgehis office in Whiteball. There he found a confirma. "The army has surrendered, and you may peruse tion of the intelligence, which arrived about two the particulars of the capitulation in that paper;" hours after the first communication; having been taking at the same time one from his pocket, which transmitted from Dover, to wbich place it was he delivered into my hand, not without visible forwarded from Calais with the French account of emotion. By his permission I read it aloud, while the same event.
the company listened in profound silence. We I dined on that day at lord George's; and though then discussed its contents, as it affected the the information, which had reached London in the ministry, the country and the war. It must be course of the morning, from two different quarters, confessed that they were calculated to diffuse a was of a nature not to admit of long concealment; gloom over the most convivial society, and that yet it had not been communicated either to me, they opened a wide field for political speculation. or to any individual of the company, as it might After perusing the account of lord Cornwallis's naturally have been through the channel of com. surrender at York-Town, it was impossible for all
present not to feel a lively curiosity to know how compel them to expiate their crimes on the pubthe king had received the intelligence, as well as lic scaffold. Burke, with inconceivable warmth of how he bad expressed himself in his note to lord coloring, depicted the folly and impracticability of George Germain, on the first communication of so taxing America by force, or, as he described it, painful an event. He gratified cur wish by reading "shearing the wolf." The metaphor was wonderit to us, observing at the same time, that it did the fully appropriate, and scarcely admiited of denial. highest honor to his majesty's fortitude, firmness Pitt levelled his observations principally against and consistency of character. The words made the cabinet, whom he represented as destilute of an impression on my memory which the lapse of principle, wisdom or union of design. All three more than thirty years has not erased; and I shall were sustained, and I had almost said, outdone bere commernorate its tenor, as serving to show by Mr. Thomas Pitt, who, in terms of gloomy how that prince felt and wrote, under one of the despondency, seemed to regard the situation of most afficting, as well as humiliating occurrences the country as scarcely admitting of a remedy, of his reign. The billet ran nearly to this effect: under such a parliament, such ministers and such "I have received, with sentiments of the deepest a sovereign. Lord North, in this moment of gene. concern, the communication which lord George ral depression, found resources within himself. Germain had made me, of the unfortunate result He scornfully repelled the insinuations of Fox, a3 of the operations in Virginia. I particularly lament deserving only contempt, justified the principle it, on account of the consequences connected with of the war, which did not originate in a despotic it, and the difficulties which it may produce in wish to tyrannize over America, but from the carrying on the public business, or in repairing desire of maintaining the constitutional authority such a misfortune.—But I trust that neither lord of parliament over the colonies; deplored, in comGeorge Germain, nor any member of the cabinet, mon with the opposition, the misfortunes which will suppose that it makes the smallest alteration bed marked the progress of the contest; defied in those principles of my conduct which have the threat of punishment; and finally adjured the directed me in past times, and wbich will always house not to aggravale the present calamity by continue to animate me under every event, in the dejection or despair, but, by united exertion, to prosecution of the present contest.” Not a senti- secure our national extrication. ment of despondency or of despair was to be found in the letter; the very hand-writing of wbich indicated
Massachusetts state Papers. composure of mind.- Whatever opinion we may entertain relative to the practicabiliiy of reducing
February 16, 1773. America lo obedience by force of arms, at the end
Gentlemen of the council, and of 1781, we must admit that no sovereign could
Gentlemen of the house of representatives: manifest more calmness, dignity or self-command
The proceedings of such of the inhabitants of than George DI. displayed in this reply.
the town of Boston, as assembled together, and
passed and published their resolves or votes, as Severely as the general effect of the blow receiv. the act of the town, at a legal town meeting, ed in Virginia was felt throughout the nation, yet denying, in the most express terms, the supremano immediate symptoms of ministerial dissolution, cy of parliament, and inviting every other town or even of parliamentary defection became visible and district in the province, to adopt the same in either house. All the animated invectives of principle, and to establish committees of corres. Fos, aided by the contumelious irony of Burke, pondence, to consult upon proper measures to main. and sustained by the dignified denunciations of (ain it, and the proceedings of divers other towns, Pitt, ealisted on the same side, made little ap. consequence of this invitation, appeared to me parent impression on their bearers, who seemed to be so unwarrantable, and of such a dangerous stupified by the disastrous intelligence. Yet never nature and tendency, that I thought myself bound probably, at any period of our bistory, was more to call upon you in my speech at opening the indignant language used by the opposition, or sup- session, to join with me in discountenancing and ported by administration. In the ardor of his feel bearing a proper testimony against such irregulari. ings at the recent calamity beyond the Atlantic, ties and innovations. Fox not only accused ministers of being virtually I stated to you fairly and truly, as I conceived, in the pay of France, but menaced them with the the constitution of the kingdom and of the pro. vengeance of an undone people, who would speedily vince, so far as relates to the dependence of the
SPEECH OF THE GOVERNOR TO BOTH HOUSES,
former upon the latter; and I desired you, if you as more peculiarly exempt from such authority differed from me in sentiments, to show me, with than the rest, rather tend to evince the impracticacandor, my own errors, and to give your reasons bility of drawing such a line; and that some parts in support of your opinions, so far as you might of your answer seem to infer a supremacy in the differ from me. I hoped that you would have province, at the same time that you acknwledge considered my speech by your joint committees, the supremacy of parliament; for otherwise, the and have given me a joint answer; but, as the house rights of the subjects cannot be the saine in all of representatives have declined that mode of pro- essential respects, as you suppose them to be, in ceeding, and as your principles in government are all parts of the dominions, "under a like form of very different, I am obliged to make separate and legislature." distinct replies. I shall first apply myself to you,
From these, therefore, and other considerations, 'Gentlemen of the council:
I cannot help flattering myself, that upon more The two first parts of your answer, which remature deliberation, and in order to a more conspect the disorders occasioned by the stamp act, sistent plan of government, you will choose rather and the general nature of supreme authority, do to doubt of the expediency of parliament's exercisnot appear to me to have a tendency to invalidate ing its authority in cases that may happen, than to any thing which I have said in my speech; for, bow. limit the authority itself, especially, as you agree ever the stamp act may have been the immediate with me in the proper method of obtaining occasion of an - disorders, the authority of parlia. redress of grievances by constitutional representa. ment was, notwithstanding, denied, in order to tions, which cannot well consist with a denial of justify or excuse them. And, for the nature of the authority to which the representations are the supreme authority of parliament, I have never made; and from the best information I bave been given you any reason to suppose, that I intended able to obtain, the denial of the authority of parliaa more absolute power in parliament, or a greater ment, expressly, or by implication, in those petitions degree of active or passive obedience in the peo. to which you refer, was the cause of their not being ple, than what is founded in the nature of govern- admitted, and not any advice given by the minister ment, let the form of it be what it may. I shall, to the agents of the colonies. I must enlarge, and therefore, pass over those parts of your answer, be more particular in my reply to you, without any other remark. I would also have
Gentlemen of the house of representatives: saved you the trouble of all those authorities which
I shall take no notice of that part of your answer, you have brought to show, that all taxes upon Eng.
which attributes the disorders of the province, to lish subjects, must be levied by virtue of the act,
an undue exercise of the power of parliament; benot of the king alone, but in conjunction with the
cause you take for granted, what can by no means lords and commons, for I should very readily have
be admitted, that parliament bad exercised its allowed it; and I should as readily have allowed, that all other acts of legislation must be passed power without just authority. The sum of your
answer, so far as it is pertinent to my speech, is by the same joint authority, and not by the king
this. alone. Indeed, I am not willing to continue a controversy of foreign territory, not annexed to the realm of
You allege that the colonies were an acquisition with you, upon any other parts of your answer. I am glad to find, that independence is not whai England; and, therefore, at the absolute disposal
of the crown; the king having, as you take it, a you have in contemplation, and that you will not
constitutional right to dispose of, and alienate any presume to prescribe the exact limits of the authority of parliament, only, as with due deference part of bis territories, not annexed to the realm;
that queen Elizabeth accordingly conveyed the to it, you are bumbly of opinion, that, as all human
property, dominion, and sovereignty of Virginia, authority in the nature of it is, and ought to be
to sir Walter Raleigh, to be held of the crown by limited, it cannot constitutionally extend, for the reasons you have suggested, to the levying of taxes, share in the legislative and esecutive authority:
homage and a certain render, without reserving any in any form, on his majesty's subjects of tbis pro that the subsequent grants of America were similar vince.
in this respect; that they were without any reserva. I will only observe, that your attempts to draw tion for securing the subjection of the colonists a line as the limits of the supreme authority in go- Lo the parliament, and future laws of England; that vernment, by distinguishing some natural rights, I this was the sense of the English crown, the pa.
tion, and our predecessors, when they first took prince or state, against the general sense of the possession of this country; that, if the colonies were nation, be urged to invalidate them; and, upon not then annexed to the realm, they cannot bave examination, it will appear, that all the grants been annexed since that time; that, if they are not which have been made of America, are founded now annexed to the realm, they are not part of upon them, and are made to conform to them, even the kingdom; and, consequently, not subject to bose which you have adduced in support of very the legislative authority of the kingdom; for no different principles. country, by the common law, was subject to the laws or to the parliament, but the realm of Eng.
You do not recollect that, prior to what you land.
call the first grant by queen Elizabeth to sir Wal.
ter Raleigh, a grant had been made by the same Now, if this foundation shall fail you in every princess, to sir Humphrey Gilbert, of all such coun. part of it, as I think it will, the fabric which you tries as he should discover, which were to be of have raised upon it must certainly fall.
the allegiance of her, her heirs and successors; but Let me then observe to you, that as English sub. he dying in the prosecution of his voyage, a second jects, and agreeable to the doctrine of feudal grant was made to sir Walter Raleigh, which, you tenure, all our lands and tenements are held say, conveyed the dominion and sovereignty, with. mediately, or immediately, of the crown, and sl. out any reserve of legislative or executive alle though the possession and use, or profits, be in thority, being held by homage and a render. To the subject, there still remains a dominion in the hold by homage, which implies fealty and a reider, crown. When any new countries are discovered is descriptive of soccage tenure, as fully as if it by English subjects, according to the general law had been said to hold, as of our manor of Eist and usage of nations, they become part of the Gree wich, the words in your charter. Nw, this stale, and, according to the feudal system, the alone was a reserve of dominion and sovereignty in lordsbip or dominion, is in the crown; and a right the queen, her heirs and successors; and, besides accrues of disposing of such territories, under such this, the grant is made upon this express condition, tenore, or for such services to be performed, as which you pass over, 16.at the people remain sub. the crown shall judge proper; and whensoever any liect to the crown of England, the head of that part of such territories, by grant from the crown, legislative authority, which, by the English con. becomes the possession or property of private per- stilution, is equally extensive with the authority of sons, such persons, thus holding, under the crown the crown, throughout every part of the dominions. of England, remain, or become subjects of Eng. Now, if we could supp-se the qileen to have acland, to all intents and purposes, as fully as if any quired, separate from her relation to ber subjects, of the royal manors, forests, or other territory, or in her natural capacity, which she could not do, witbin the realm, bad been granted to them upon a litle to a country discovered by her subjects, and the like tenure. But that it is now, or was, when then to grant the same couniry to English subjects, the plantations were first granted, the prerogative in her public capacity as queen of England, still, of the kings of England to alienate such territo. by this grant, she annexed it to the crown. Thus, ries from the crown, or to constitute a number of by not distinguishing between the crown of Eng. new governments, altogether independent of the land and the kings and queens of England, in their sovereign legislative authority of the English em. personal or natural capacities, you have been led pire, I can by no means concede to you. I have into a fundamental error, which must prove fatal to never seen any better authority to support such an your system. It is not material, whether Virginia opinion, than an anonymous pamphlet, by which, 1 reverted to the crown by sir Walter's attainder, or fear, you have too easily been misled; for I shall whether he never took any benefit from his grant, presently show you, that the declarations of king though the latter is most probable, seeing he James the I. and of king Charles the 1. admitting ceased from all attempts to take possession of they are truly related by the author of this pam. the country after a few years trial. There were, phlet, ought to have no weight with you; nor does undoubtedly, divers grants made by king James the cession or restoration, upon a treaty of peace, the I. of the continent of America, in the beginning of countries which have been lost or acquired in of the seventeenth century, and similar to the grant war, militate with these principles; nor may any of queen Elizabeth, in this respect, that they were particular act of power of a prince, in selling, or dependent on the crown. The charter to the coun. delivering up any part of his dominions to a foreign cil at Plymouth, in Devon, dated November 3, 1620,
more immediately respects us, and of that we bave, were soliciting the parliament to grant the duties the most authentic remains.
of tonnage and poundage, with other aids, and By this charter, upon the petition of sir Ferdinando were, in this way, acknowledging the rights of Gorges, a corporation was constituted, to be, and parliament, at the same time were requiring the continue by succession, forever in the town of payment of those duties, with ship money, &c. by Plymouth aforesaid, to which corporation, that
virtue of their prerogative? part of the American continent, which lies be But to remove all doubts of the sense of the natween 40 and 48 degrees of latitude, was granted, tion, and of the patentees of this patent, or char. to be held of the king, his heirs and successors, ter, in 1620, I need only refer you to the account as of the manor of East Greenwich, with powers published by sir Ferdinando Gorges himself, of the to constitute subordinate governments in Ame proceedings in parliament upon this occasion. As rica, and to make laws for such governments, not he was the most active member of the courcil of repugnant to the laws and statutes of England. Plymouth, and, as he relates what came within From this corporation, your predecessors obtained bis own knowledge and observation, his narrative, a grant of the soil of the colony of Massachusetts- which has all the appearance of truth and sincerity, Bay, in 1627, and in 1628, they obtained a charter must carry conviction with it. He says, that soon from king Charles the I. making them a distinct after the patent was passed, and whilst it lay in corporation, also within the realm, and giving the crown office, he was summoned to appear in them full powers within limits of their patent, very parliament, to answer what was to be objected like to those of the council of Plymouth, through. against it; and the house being in a committee, and out their more extensive territory.
sir Edward Coke, that great oracle of the law, in We will now consider what must have been the
the chair, he was called to the bar, and was told sense of the king, of the nation, and of the patentees,
by sir Edward, that the house understood that a at the time of granting these patents. From the patent had been granted to the said Ferdinando,
and divers other noble persons, for establishing a year 1602, the banks and sea coasts of New Eng. Jand had been frequented by English subjects, for colony in New England, that this was deemed a
grievance of the commonwealth, contrary to the catching and drying cod-fish. When an exclusive right to the fishery was claimed, by virtue of the
laws, and to the privileges of the subject, that it patent of 1620, the house of commons was alarmed,
was a monopoly, &c. and he required the delivery and a bill was brought in for allowing a free fishery;
of the patent into the house. Sir Ferdinando and it was upon this occasion, that one of the
Gorges made no doubt of the authority of the sccretaries of state declared, perhaps as bis own
house, but submitted to their disposal of the opinion, that the plantations were not annexed to patent, as, in their wisdom, they thought good; the crown, and so were not within the jurisdiction
"not knowing, under favor, how any action of that of parliament. Sir Edwin Sandys, wbo was one of
kind could be a grievance to the public, seeing it the Virginia company, and an eminent lawyer,
was undertaken for the advancement of religion, declared, that he knew Virginia had been annexed,
the enlargement of the bounds of our nation, &c. and was held of the crown, as of the manor of East He was willing, however, to submit the whole to
the honorable censures." After divers atten. Greenwich, and he believed New England was so also; and so it most certainly was. This declara.
dances, heimagined he had satisfied the house, that tion, made by one of the king's servants, you say,
the planting a colony was of much more conseshewed the sense of the crown, and, being not quence, than a simple disorderly course of fishing. secretly, but openly declared in parliament, you
He was, notwithstanding, disapointed; and, when would make it the sense of the nation also, notwitb. the public grievances of the kingdom were prestanding your own assertion, that the lords and sented by the two houses, that of the patent for commons passed a bill, that shewed their sense to
New England was the first. I do not know how be directly the contrary. But if there had been the parliament could have shewn more fully the full evidence of express declarations made by king
sense they then had of their authority over this James the S. and king Charles the I. they were
new acquired territory; nor can we expect better declarations contrary to their own grants, which evidence of the sense which the patentees had of declare this country to be held of the crown, and it, for I know of no historical fact, of which we have consequently, it must have been annexed to it. less reason to doubt. And may not such declarations be accounted for And now, gentlemen, I will shew you bow it apby other actions of those princes, who, when they pears from our charter itself, which you say I bare