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[192] in America, than by restraining all competition in their
Chap. V.} 1624.
own market for the benefit of the American planter. Meantime, the commissioners arrived from the colony, and made their report to the king.1 They enumerated the disasters which had befallen the infant settlement; they eulogized the fertility of the soil and the salubrity of the climate; they aggravated the neglect of the company in regard to the encouragement of staple commodities; they esteemed the plantations of great national importance, and an honorable monument of the reign of King James; they expressed a preference for the original constitution of 1606; they declared, that the alteration of the charter to so popular a course, and so many hands, referring, not to the colonial franchises, but to the democratic form of the London company, could lead only to confusion and contention; and they promised prosperity only by a recurrence to the original instructions of the monarch.

Now, therefore, nothing but the judicial decision

remained. The decree, which was to be pronounced by judges who held their office by the tenure of the royal pleasure,2 could not long remain doubtful; at the Trinity term of the ensuing year, judgment was given against the treasurer and company,3 and the patents were cancelled.

Thus the company was dissolved. It had fulfilled its high destinies; it had confirmed the colonization of Virginia, and had conceded a liberal form of government

1 Hazard, i. 190, 191. Burk, i. 291, 292.

2 Story's Com. i. 27.

3 Stith, 329, 330, doubts if judgment were passed. The doubt may be removed. ‘Before the end of the same term, a judgment was declared by the Lord Chief Justice Ley against the company and their charter, only upon a failer, or mistake in pleading.’ See a Short Collection of the most Remarkable Passages from the Originall to the Dissolution of the Virginia Company; London, 1651, p. 15. See, also, Hazard, l. 191; Chalmers, 62; Proud's Pennsylvania, i. 107

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