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[203] to draw a contrast, not only between Harvey and
Chap VI.} 1641
the new governor, but between the institutions of Virginia under their respective governments; and 1641 Berkeley is said to have ‘restored the system of freedom,’ and to have ‘effected an essential revolution.’1 I cannot find that his appointment was marked by the slightest concession of new political privileges, except that the council recovered the right of supplying its own vacancies; and the historians, who make an opposite statement, are wholly ignorant of the intermediate administration of Wyatt; a government so suited to the tastes and habits of the planters, that it passed silently away, leaving almost no impression on Virginia history, except in its statutes. The commission of Berkeley was exactly analogous to those of his predecessors.

The instructions2 given him, far from granting franchises to the Virginians, imposed most severe and unwarrantable restrictions on the liberty of trade; and, by the prerogative, England claimed that monopoly of colonial commerce, which was ultimately enforced by the navigation act of Charles II., and which never ceased to be a subject of dispute till the war of independence. The nature of those instructions will presently be explained.

It was in February, 1642, that Sir William Berke-

icy, arriving in the colony, assumed the government. His arrival must have been nearly simultaneous with the adjournment of the general assembly, which was held in the preceding January.3 He found the American planters in possession of a large share of the legislative

1 Chalmers, 120, 121.

2 Ibid. 131—133.

3 The acts of that session are most, but are referred to in Hening, i. 267—269, in the acts 49, 50, 51, 52. The statutes, of course, call the year 1641, as the year then began in March.

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