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CHAP. IX.
Commencement of lord North's administration.-The remon-

strance of the city of London and reply of his majesty-are
discussed in parliament.Bill to prevent officers of the re-
venue from voting at elections--negatived.--Mr. Gren-
ville's law for regulating contested elections.-Lord North's
bill for repealing all duties on America, except on tea.-Tu-
mult at Boston-captain Preston and the soldiers interferemo
tried and acquitted. The minister wishing conciliation, over-
looks the riot.-Sefion rises.-War between Russia and Ture
key.Catharine is favoured by England-sends a fleet to the
Mediterraneanher armies over-run Moldavia and Wal-
lachia-alarm Prussa and Austria.-France-disputes be-
tween the king and parliaments.--Dispute between Britain
and Spain about Falkland's island.-Spain, the aggressor, re-
fuses to make adequate satisfaction-trufts to the co-operation
of France-disappointed-offers concesions that satisfy the
British court.-America becomes more tranquil.-Discontents
fill continue in England.London addresses the king-dige
nified answer of his majesty-noted reply of Beckford, the
lord mayor.-Meeting of parliament.-Lord Mansfield's doc-
trines on the law of libelare controverted by lord Camden--
Camden challenges the chief justice to a legal disquisition on
the subject--lord Mansfield declines the conteft. Prosecution
of printers.--Misunderstanding between the two houses.-Sin-
gular confederacy for bribery in the borough of Shoreham...
Opposition censure the terms of satisfaction admitted from

Spain.-Supplies.-Sellion rises. T ORD North, chancellor of the exchequer, suc- CHA P.!

IX. ceeded the duke of Grafton in his office of first a lord of the treasury; and from this time commenced

Commencean administration which forms a momentous æra ment of

lord North's in the history of Great Britain.

administra.. . E 3

1770.

The

tion,

CHAP. The Middlesex election came before both houses L e in a variety of forms, and produced brilliant and . 1770.

forcible eloquence, but necessarily a repetition of arguments which had been already employed. In discussing this subject, lord Chatham reviewed the measures of government, which he declared, in its principles and details, to be weak, unconstitutional, and ruinous; and unfolded his own reasons for opposing a ministry which owed its existence to himself. Finding (he said) the line of conduct which he had chalked out not observed, and his opinion totally over-ruled, he had withdrawn from public business, and at length entirely resigned.His several motions, however, were negatived by the influence of ministry.

The reception of the London petition under. went very severe animadversions. The king not having paid to that production the favourable attention which its authors had the presumption to

expect, they chose to deliver another paper to the Remon king, entitled, the humble address, remonstrance, and strance of ciry of

petition of the lord mayor, aldermen, and livery of the city of London. In this humble application to their sovereign, these citizens undertook to declare what was the law of the land, and wherein it had been violated; and to prophecy that its violation would produce more ruinous consequences, than the ship-money of Charles I. and the dispensing power of James Il. The citizens next declared the parliament a non-entity, an illegal meeting, whose acts were not binding, and therefore could require no obedience. They drew a parallel between the administrations of George III. and James II. ; differing indeed in means, but concurring (they af.

firmed)

London,

IX.

firmed) in principles and system. The constitution, CĦAP. now endangered by the wickedness of his majesty's me minister's, had been established by the virtue of 0770. their ancestors, and by the virtue of present patriots it should be preserved. The concluding paragraph of this essay I shall quote, as a specimen of the terms in which this corporation dictated to their monarch, and of the licentiousness of that period of history. “Since, therefore, the misdeeds of your majesty's ministers, in violating the freedom of election, and depraving the noble constitution of parliaments, are notorious, as well as subversive of the fundamental laws and liberties of this realm; and since your majesty, both in honour and justice, is obliged inviolably to preserve them, according to the oath made to God and your subjects at your coronation; we, your majesty's remonftrants, assure ourselves, that your majesty will restore the con. stitutional government and quiet of your people, by diffolving this parliament, and removing those evil ministers for ever from your councils,” The. answer was a striking example of temperate, but dignified and forcible reproof; it was couched in the following terms : “ I shall always be ready to and reply of receive the requests, and to listen to the complaints jetty of my subjects ; but it gives me great concern to find, that any of them should have been so far misled, as to offer me an address and remonstrance, the contents of which I cannot but consider as disrespectful to me, injurious to my parliament, and irreconcilable to the principles of the constitution. I have made the law of the land the rule of my conduct, esteeming it my chief glory to reign over a free people. With this view, I have always been

çareful,

S

his may

1770.

Cuffed in parliament.

CHA P. careful, as well to execute faithfully the trut re. w posed in me, as to avoid even the appearance of

invading any of those powers which the constitution has placed in other hands. It is only by persevering in such a conduct, that I can either discharge my own duty, or secure to my subjects the free enjoyment of those rights which my family were called to defend : and while I act upon these principles,' I shall have a right to expect, and I am confident I shall continue to receive, the steady and

affectionate support of my people.” are dif- . On the 15th of March, the remonstrance was

discussed by the house. The city members, fup-
ported by the rest of the opposition, defended it :
its framers gloried in the production. Others, less
violent, eluded the merits of the paper in question,
and reasoned on the general right of petitioning
his majesty, and the propriety of addressing him
at the present time. The supporters of ministers.
confined themselves to this specific remonstrance,
which they contended, and proved, to be insulting,
injurious, and dangerous ; particularly dwelling on
that part of it which presumed to deny the legality
of the present parliament, as tending to deprive the
people of their representatives, and to annul every
act which had passed since the general election.
Both houses addressed his majesty, thanking him
for his answer to the remonstrance. Several mo-
tions were made for an address to his majesty to
dissolve the parliament, but these were negatived.
Lord Chatham was extremely active in anti-mini-
sterial propositions ; and the admirer of the highest
wisdom and patriotism of those times must regret,
.that the heat of party-contention should so far have

trans

IX.

transported this illustrious fenator, as to have in. CH A P. duced him to countenance and support the very irreverent remonstrance of the city of London. . 1770. An attempt was made to diminish the influence Bill for

disqualify. of the crown, by proposing a bill to disqualify cer- ing officers tain officers of the revenue from voting for mem- decine from

me from voting for mem of the rebers of parliament; and a motion to this effect was voting at

elections, made on the uth of February. The supporters of the proposition observed, that the chief officers of the revenue were disqualified from sitting in parliament, and that there were the same reasons for incapacitating inferior officers from being electors. Both classes of servants must be under the direction of the crown; and the departments of the revenue were become so numerous, as to render that influence inconsistent with the purposes of a free representation. Ministers replied, that the mo. tion presumed in its objects a dependence and corruption which was not proved; on this presumption, it proposed to place holders of those employments in a worse situation than their fellow-countrymen ; and thus to deprive many individuals of the rights of British subjects : the motion was rejected. On is negatived. the 28th, a proposition was made for inspecting the accounts of the civil list during the year 1769. The nation it was urged) had a right to examine how its late grants had been employed : if the money had been properly used, no inconvenience could accrue to ministers from the inspection ; if improperly applied, it was the duty of the house to make the discovery. It was answered, that the civil lift being entirely the revenue of the crown, the crown had a right to expend it at will ; if an application had been made for an additional grant,

the

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