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[273] liberties of those who might become inhabitants of
Chap VIII.} 1620
the colony; they were to be ruled, without their own consent, by the corporation in England. The patent favored only the cupidity of the proprietors, and possessed all the worst features of a commercial monopoly A royal proclamation was soon issued, enforcing its provisions; and a revenue was already considered certain from an onerous duty on all tonnage employed in the American fisheries.1 The re suits which grew out of the concession of this charter, form a new proof, if any were wanting, of that mysterious connection of events by which Providence leads to ends that human councils had not conceived. The patent left the emigrants at the mercy of the unrestrained power of the corporation; and it was under concessions from that plenary power, confirmed, indeed, by the English monarch, that institutions the most favorable to colonial liberty were established. The patent yielded every thing to the avarice of the corporation; the very extent of the grant rendered it of little value. The jealousy of the English nation, incensed at the concession of vast monopolies by the exercise of the royal prerogative, immediately prompted the house of commons to question the validity of
1621 April 25.
the grant;2 and the French nation, whose traders had been annually sending home rich freights of furs, while the English were disputing about charters and commissions, derided the tardy action of the British monarch in bestowing lands and privileges, which their own sovereign, seventeen years before, had appropriated.3 The patent was designed to hasten plantations,

1 Smith, in III. Mass. Hist. Coll. III. 32. Smith, II. 263.

2 Chalmers, 100—102. Parliamentary Debates, 1620-1, i. 260, 318, 319.

3 III. Mass. Hist. Coll. III. 20.

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