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1 When Bennett retired from office, the assembly
Chap. VI.} 1655. Mar. 31.
itself elected his successor; and Edward Diggs, who had before been chosen of the council,2 and who ‘had given a signal testimony of his fidelity to Virginia, and to the commonwealth of England,’3 received the suffrages.4 The commissioners in the colony5 were rather engaged in settling the affairs and adjusting the boundaries of Maryland, than in controlling the destinies of Virginia.

The right of electing the governor continued to be claimed by the representatives of the people,6 and Samuel Matthews,7 son of an old planter, was next

1658.
honored with the office. But, from too exalted ideas of his station, he, with the council, became involved in an unequal contest with the assembly by which he had been elected. The burgesses had enlarged their power by excluding the governor and council from their sessions, and, having thus reserved to themselves the first free discussion of every law, had voted an adjournment till November. The governor and coun-
April 1.
cil, by message, declared the dissolution of the assembly. The legality of the dissolution was denied;8 and, after an oath of secrecy, every burgess was enjoined not to betray his trust by submission. Matthews yielded, reserving a right of appeal to the protector.9 When the house unanimously voted the governor's answer unsatisfactory, he expressly revoked the order of dissolution, but still referred the decision of the dispute to Cromwell. The members of the assembly,

1 [226] i. Preface, 13.

2 Ibid. 388. November, 1654.

3 Ibid. i. 388.

4 Ibid. 408. Compare Hening, i. 5, and also 426.

5 Ibid. 428 and 432. Haz. i. 594.

6 Hening, i. 431.

7 II. Mass. Hist. Coll. IX. 119.

8 Hening's note, i. 430.

9 Hening, i. 496, 497; and 500, 501.

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