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y, 1769. Since the propo- Chap. XLI.} 1769. May. sal to ship Samuel Adams, Otis, and their chief supporters across the water had come to naught, the cabal were left without a plan of conduct. The Regiments which had been sent at their suggestion were pronounced to be useless, because they were inactive. Disheartened by the appearance of moderation in the British Government, they complained that their accusations which had, as they thought, been fully certified, had not been noticed at Westminster for Treason. The choice of Representatives showed the sense of the people. The town of Boston, on coming together, demanded the withdrawal of the soldiery during the election; but they were only confined within the barracks while the ballot was taken. Of five hundred and eight votes that were cast, the four old representatives, Otis, Cushing, Samuel Adams, and Hancock, received more than five hundred. They were instructed to insist on the departure of the army from the town and Prov
plaints of America and of Ireland, not less than the discontent of England at the disfranchisement of Wilkes. It is vain and idle to found the authority of this House upon the popular voice, said Charles Jenkinson, pleading for the absolute independence of Parliament. The discontents that are held up as spectres, said Thomas de Grey, brother of the Attorney General, are the senseless clamors of the thoughtless, and the ignorant, the lowest of the rabble. The Chap. XLII.} 1770. Jan. Westminster petition was obtained by a few despicable mechanics, headed by base-born people. The privileges of the people of this country, interposed Serjeant Glynn, do not depend upon birth and fortune; they hold their rights as Englishmen, and cannot be divested of them but by the subversion of the Constitution. Were it not for petition-hunters and incendiaries, said Rigby, the farmers of Yorkshire could not possibly take an interest in the Middlesex election of representatives in Parliament. Bu
iers should be quartered among them. In the present case the owner of the Ropewalk gave satisfaction by dismissing the workman complained of. The officers should, on their part, have kept their men within the barracks after night-fall. Instead of it they left them to roam the streets. Hutchinson should have insisted on measures of precaution; Gordon's Hist. of American Revolution, i. 281. but he too much wished the favor of all who had influ- Chap. XLIII.} 1770. March ence at Westminster. Evening came on. The young moon was shining brightly in a cloudless winter sky, and its light was increased by a new fallen snow. R. Treat Paine's Trial of the Soldiers, 121. Parties of soldiers were driving about the streets, Hutchinson's History, III. 271. making a parade of valor, challenging resistance, and striking the inhabitants indiscriminately with sticks or sheathed cutlasses. A band which rushed out from Murray's Barracks, Jeremiah Belknap's Testimony, Boston Na
g, replied Hutchinson, to be governed by his Majesty's pleasure. Message from the Governor to the Council, 21 March, 1770, Bradford. Thus a new question arose respecting the proper use of the prerogative; while the Assembly proceeded to business only from absolute necessity. Bradford's State Papers, 202 Suppose a petulant or angry minister were to be displeased with the two Houses of Parliament, and to mark his resentment, were to sum mon them to meet at Wolverton or Rye, instead of Westminster; in what temper would he find them? Yet that would be analogous to the act of Hutchinson. Yet in spite of appearances and of the adverse influence of the Government, popular liberty was constantly gaining ground in England as well as in America. The last public act of Grenville's life was a step towards representative reform by establishing a more impartial method of deciding controverted elections. It was perhaps the most honorable trophy of his long Chap. XLIV.} 1770. April. c