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[187] and now suffered no greater injury than had been
Chap V} 1622
Before inflicted on others for their benefit.1

At the meeting for the choice of officers, in 1622, King James once more attempted to control the elections, by sending a message, nominating several candidates, out of whom they were to choose their treasurer. The advice of the king was disregarded, and a great majority reflected the earl of Southampton.2

Unable to get the control of the company by overawing their assemblies, the monarch now resolved upon the sequestration of the patent; and raised no other question, than how the unjust design could most plausibly be accomplished, and the law of England be made the successful instrument of tyranny. The allegation of grievances, set forth by the court faction in a petition to the king, was fully refuted by the com-
May 7.
pany, and the whole ground of discontent was answered by an explanatory declaration.3 Yet commis-
sioners were appointed to engage in a general investigation of the concerns of the corporation; the records were seized, the deputy-treasurer imprisoned, and private letters from Virginia intercepted for inspection.4 Smith was particularly examined; his honest answers plainly exposed the defective arrangements of previous years, and favored the cancelling of the charter as an act of benevolence to the colony.5

The result surprised every one: the king, by an

order in council, made known, that the disasters of Virginia were a consequence of the ill government of tile company; that he had resolved, by a new charter, to reserve to himself the appointment of the officers

1 Smith, II. 107.

2 Burk, i. 257.

3 In Burk, i. 316—330. Stith, 276, 277, and 291—297.

4 Stith, 298. Burk, i. 268. Rymer, XVII. 490—493.

5 Smith, II. 103—108.

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