previous next
[204] authority; and he confirmed them in the enjoy
Chap. VI.} 1642 Mar
ment of franchises which a long and uninterrupted succession had rendered familiar. Immediately after his arrival, he convened the colonial legislature. The utmost harmony prevailed; the memory of factions was lost in a general amnesty of ancient griefs. The lapse of years had so far effaced the divisions which grew out of the dissolution of the company, that when George Sandys, an agent of the colony, and an opponent of the royal party in England, presented a petition to the commons, praying for the restoration of the ancient patents,1 the royalist assembly promptly disavowed the design, and, after a full debate, op-
April 1
posed it by a solemn protest.2 The whole document breathes the tone of a body accustomed to public discussion and the independent exercise of legislative power. They assert the necessity of the freedom of trade, ‘for freedom of trade,’ say they, ‘is the blood and life of a commonwealth.’ And they defended their preference of self-government through a colonial legislature, by a conclusive argument. ‘There is more likelyhood, that such as are acquainted with the clime and its accidents may upon better grounds prescribe our advantages, than such as shall sit at the helm in England.’3 In reply to their urgent petition, the king immediately declared his purpose not to change a form of government in which they ‘received so much content and satisfaction.’4

The Virginians, aided by Sir William Berkeley,5 could now deliberately perfect their civil condition. Condemnations to service had been a usual punishment;

1 Chalmers, 121. Hening, i. 230.

2 Hening, i. 230—236. Burk, II. 68—74.

3 Hening, i. 233.

4 Chalmers, 133, 134. Burk, in 74.

5 Hammond's Leah and Rache 12.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Hening (3)
Chalmers (2)
Burk (2)
George Sandys (1)
Hammond (1)
William Berkeley (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1642 AD (1)
April 1st (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: