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gesses, in the said high court of parliament, of their own election, to represent the condition of their country; by lack whereof, they have been oftentimes touched and grieved

by subsidies given, granted, and assented to, in the said court, 5 in a manner prejudicial to the commonwealth, quietness, rest, and peace, of the subjects inhabiting within the same.

“That, from the distance of the said colonies, and from other circumstances, no method hath hitherto been devised

for procuring a representation in parliament for the said 10 colonies.”

“That each of the said colonies hath within itself a body, chosen, in part or in the whole, by the freemen, freeholders, or other free inhabitants thereof, commonly called the gen

eral assembly, or general court; with powers legally to raise, 15 levy, and assess, according to the several usage of such

colonies, duties and taxes towards defraying all sorts of public services.” 1

“That the said general assemblies, general courts, or other bodies, legally qualified as aforesaid, have at sundry times 20 freely granted several large subsidies and public aids for his

Majesty's service, according to their abilities, when required thereto by letter from one of his Majesty's principal secretaries of state ; and that their right to grant the same, and

their cheerfulness and sufficiency in the said grants, have 25 been at sundry times acknowledged by parliament.”

“That it hath been found by experience, that the manner of granting the said supplies and aids, by the said general assemblies, hath been more agreeable to the inhabitants of

the said colonies, and more beneficial and conducive to the 30 public service, than the mode of giving and granting aids and

subsidies in parliament to be raised and paid in the said colonies.”

“That it may be proper to repeal an act, made in the seventh year of the reign of his present Majesty, intituled, An act for granting certain duties in the British colonies and plantations in America; for allowing a drawback of the duties of customs, upon the exportation from this kingdom, 5 of coffee and cocoa-nuts, of the produce of the said colonies or plantations ; for discontinuing the drawbacks payable on China earthenware exported to America ; and for more effectually preventing the clandestine running of goods in the said colonies and plantations."

10 “That it may be proper to repeal an act made in the fourteenth year of the reign of his present Majesty, intituled, An act to discontinue, in such manner, and for such time, as are therein mentioned, the landing and discharging, lading or shipping of goods, wares, and merchandise, at the town, and 15 within the harbour, of Boston, in the province of Massachusetts Bay, in North America."

“That it may be proper to repeal an act, made in the fourteenth year of the reign of his present Majesty, intituled, An act for the impartial administration of justice, in cases of 20 persons questioned for any acts done by them in the execution of the law, or for the suppression of riots and tumults, in the province of Massachusetts Bay, in New England.”

“That it is proper to repeal an act, made in the fourteenth year of the reign of his present Majesty, intituled, An act 25 for the better regulating the government of the province of Massachusetts Bay, in New England.”

“That it is proper to explain and amend an act made in the thirty-fifth year of the reign of King Henry VIII., intituled, An act for the trial of treasons committed out of the 30 king's dominions."

"That, from the time when the general assembly, or general court, of any colony or plantation, in North America, shall have appointed, by act of assembly duly confirmed, a settled salary to the offices of the chief justice and judges of the superior courts, it may be proper that the said chief justice and other judges of the superior courts of such colony shall hold his and their office and offices during their good behaviour; and shall not be removed therefrom, but when

the said removal shall be adjudged by his Majesty in council, 10 upon a hearing on complaint from the general assembly, or

on a complaint from the governor, or council, or the house of representatives, severally, of the colony in which the said chief justice and other judges have exercised the said office.”

“ That it may be proper to regulate the courts of admiralty, 15 or vice-admiralty, authorized by the fifteenth chapter of the

fourth of George III., in such a manner, as to make the same more commodious to those who sue, or are sued, in the said courts; and to provide for the more decent maintenance of the judges of the same."

A LETTER

TO

JOHN FARR AND JOHN HARRIS, ESQRS.,

SHERIFFS OF THE CITY OF BRISTOL,

ON THE AFFAIRS OF AMERICA.

1777.

GENTLEMEN : I have the honour of sending you the two last acts which have been passed with regard to the troubles in America. These acts are similar to all the rest which have been made on the same subject. They operate by the same principle; and they are derived from the very same s policy. I think they complete the number of this sort of statutes to nine. It affords no matter for very pleasing reflection to observe that our subjects diminish as our laws increase.

If I have the misfortune of differing with some of my 10 fellow-citizens on this great and arduous subject, it is no small consolation to me that I do not differ from you. With you I am perfectly united. We are heartily agreed in our detestation of a civil war. We have ever expressed the most unqualified disapprobation of all the steps which have 15 led to it, and of all those which tend to prolong it. And I have no doubt that we feel exactly the same emotions of grief and shame in all its miserable consequences; whether they appear, on the one side or the other, in the shape of

victories or defeats, of captures made from the English on the continent, or from the English in these islands; of legislative regulations which subvert the liberties of our brethren, or which undermine our own.

Of the first of these statutes (that for the letter of marque) I shall say little. Exceptionable as it may be, and as I think it is in some particulars, it seems the natural, perhaps necessary, result of the measures we have taken, and the situation

we are in. The other (for a partial suspension of the Habeas 10 Corpus)? appears to me of a much deeper malignity. Dur

ing its progress through the House of Commons, it has been amended, so as to express, more distinctly than at first it did, the avowed sentiments of those who framed it: and the

main ground of my exception to it is, because it does express, 15 and does carry into execution, purposes which appear to me

so contradictory to all the principles, not only of the constitutional policy of Great Britain, but even of that species of hostile justice, which no asperity of war wholly extinguishes

in the minds of a civilized people, 20 It seems to have in view two capital objects; the first, to

enable administration to confine, as long as it shall think proper, those whom that act is pleased to qualify by the name of pirates. Those so qualified I understand to be the

commanders and mariners of such privateers and ships of 25 war belonging to the colonies, as in the course of this un

happy contest may fall into the hands of the crown. They are therefore to be detained in prison, under the criminal description of piracy, to a future trial and ignominious pun

ishment, whenever circumstances shall make it convenient 30 to execute vengeance on them, under the colour of that

odious and infamous offence.

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