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and, in giving my sentiments according to what I thought law, I have relied upon my own conscious

It is with great pleasure I have heard the noble lord, who moved for the resolution, express himself in so manly and sensible a way, when he recommended a dispassionate debate, while, at the same time, he urged the necessity of the house coming to such a resolution with great dignity and propriety of argument.

I shall endeavour to clear away from the question all that mass of dissertation and learning displayed in arguments which have been fetched from speculative men who have written upon the subject of government, or from ancient records, as being little to the purpose. I shall insist that these records are no proofs of our present constitution. A noble lord has taken up his argument from the settlement of the constitution at the revolution : I shall take up my argument from the constitution as it now is. The constitution of this country has been always in a moving state, either gaining or losing something : and with respect to the modes of taxation, when we get beyond the reign of Edward the First, or of king John, we are all in doubt and obscurity. The history of those times is full of uncertainties. In regard to the writs upon record, they were issued some of them according to law, and some not according to law; and such were those concerning ship money, to call assemblies to tax themselves, or to compel benevolences. Other taxes were raised from escuage, fees for knights service, and by other means arising out of the feudal system. Benevolences are contrary to law; and it is well known how people resisted the demands of the crown in the case of ship money, and were persecuted by the court; and, if any set of men were to meet now to lend the king money, it would be contrary to law, and a breach of the rights of parliament. I shall answer the noble lord particularly upon the cases he has quoted.

With respect to the Marches of Wales, who were the borderers, privileged for assisting the king in his war against the Welsh in the mountains, their en. joying this privilege of taxing themselves was but of a short duration, and during the life of Edward the First, till the prince of Wales came to be the

, king; and then they were annexed to the crown, and became subject to taxes like the rest of the dominions of England, and from thence came the custom, though unnecessary, of naming Wales and the town of Mon. mouth in all proclamations and in acts of parliament. Henry the Eighth was the first who issued writs for it to return two members to parliament. The crown exercised this right ad libitum, from whence arises the inequality of representation in our constitution at this day. Henry VIII. issued a writ to Calais to send one burgess to parliament. One of the counties Pa- .. latine (I think he said Durham) was taxed fifty years to subsidies before it sent members to parliament. The clergy were at no time unrepresented in parliament. When they taxed themselves, it was done with the concurrence and consent of parliament, who permitted them to tax themselves upon their petition, the convocation sitting at the same time with the parliament: they had too their representatives always sitting in this house, bishops and abbots; and in the other house they were at no time without a right of voting singly for the election of members ; so that the argument, fetched from the case of the clergy, is not an argument of any force, because they were at no time unrepresented here.

The reasoning about the colonies of Great Brilain, drawn from the colonies of antiquity, is a mere useless display of learning; for, the colonies of the Tyrians in Africa, and of the Greeks in Asia, were totally different from our system. No nation before ourselves formed any regular system of colonization ; but the Romans, and their system was a military one, and of garrisons placed in the principal towns of the conquered provinces. The states of Holland were not colonies of Spain; but they were states dependent upon the house of Austria in a feudal dependance. Nothing could be more different from our colonies than that flock of men, as they have been called, who came from the North, and poured into Europe. These emigrants renounced all laws, all protection, all connexion with their mother countries : they chose their leaders, and marched under their banners to seek their fortunes and establish new kingdoms upon the ruins of the Roman empire ; whereas our colonies, on the contrary, emigrated under the sanction of the crown and parliament. They were modelled gradually into their present forms, respectively, by charters, grants, and statutes; but they were never separated from the mother country, or so emancipated as to become sui juris. There are several sorts of colonies in British America. The charter colonies, the proprietary governments, and the king's colonies. The first colo nies were the charter colonies, such as the Virginia company; and these companies, had among their di. rectors, members of the privy council and of both houses of parliament; they were under the authority of the privy council, and had agents resident here, responsible for their proceedings. So much were they considered as belonging to the crown and not to the king personally (for there is a great difference, though few people attend to it) that when the two houses, in the time of Charles the First, were going to pass a bill concerning the colonies, a message was sent to them by the king, that they were the king's colonies, and that the bill was unnecessary, for that the privy council would take order about them; and the bill never had the royal assent. The commonwealth parliament, as soon as it was settled, were very early jealous of the colonies separating themselves from them, and passed a resolution or act, and it is a question whether it is not in force now, to declare and establish the authority of England over its colo. nies. But if there was no express law, or reason, founded upon any necessary inference from an express law, yet the usage alone would be sufficient to support that authority : for, have not the colonies submitted ever since their first establishment to the jurisdiction of the mother country? In all questions of property

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VOL. I.

the appeals from the colonies have been to the privy council here, and such causes have been determined, not by the law of the colonies, but by the law of England. A very little while ago there was an appeal on a question of limitation in a devise of land with remainders; and, notwithstanding the intention of the testator appeared very clear, yet the case was · determined contrary to it, and that the land should pass according to the law of England. The colonies have been obliged to recur very frequently to the jurisdiction here to settle the disputes among their own governments. I well remember several references on this head, when the late lord Hardwicke was attorney general, and sir Clement Wearg solicitor general. New Hampshire and Connecticut were in blood about their differences : Virginia and Maryland were in arms against each other. This shows the necessity of one superiour decisive jurisdiction, to which all subordinate jurisdictions may recur. Nothing, my lords, could be more fatal to the peace of the colonies at any time, than the parliament giving up its authority over them; for in such a case there must be an entire dissolution of government. Considering how the colonies are composed, it is easy to foresee there would be no end of feuds and factions among the several separate governments, when once there shall be no one government here or there of sufficient force or authority to decide their mutual differences; and, government being dissolved, nothing remains but that the colonies must either change their constitution, and take some new form of government, or fall under some foreign power. At present the several forms of their constitution are very various, having been produced, as all governments have been original. ly, by accident and circumstances. The forms of government in every colony were adapted, from time to time, according to the size of the colony ; and so have been extended again, from time to time, as the numbers of their inhabitants and their commercial connexions outgrew the first model. In some colonies, at first there was only a governour assisted by two or three counsel; then more were added, afterwards

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courts of justice were erected, then assemblies were created. Some things were done by instructions from the secretaries of state, other things were done by order of the king and council, and other things by commissions under the great seal. It is observable, that in consequence of these establishments from time to time, and of the dependency of these governments upon the supreme legislature at home, the lenity of each government in the colonies has been extreme towards the subject; and a very great inducement it has been to people to come and settle in them. But, if all those governments which are now independent of each other should become independent of the mother country, I am afraid that the inhabitants of the colonies are very little aware of the consequences. They would feel in that case very soon the hand of power more heavy upon them in their own governments than they have yet done, or have ever imagined

The constitutions of the different colonies are made up of the different principles, and must remain dependent, from the necessity of things, and their rela. tions upon the jurisdiction of the mother country; or they must be totally dismembered from it, and form a league of union among themselves against it, which could not be effected without great violences. No one ever thought the contrary, till the trumpet of sedition has been blown. Acts of parliament have been made, not only without a doubt of their legality, but with universal applause, the great object of which has been ultimately to fix the trade of the colonies, so as to center in the bosom of that country from whence they took their original. The navigation act shut up their intercourse with foreign countries. Their ports have been made subject to customs and regulations which have cramped and diminished their trade. And duties have been laid, affecting the very inmost parts of their commerce, and, among others, that of the post; yet all these have been submitted to peaceably, and no one ever thought till now of this doctrine, that the colonies are not to be taxed, regulated, or bound

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