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[193] to Englishmen in America. It could accomplish
Chap V.} 1624
no more. The members were probably willing to escape from a concern which promised no emolument, and threatened an unprofitable strife; the public acquiesced in the fall of a corporation which had of late maintained but a sickly and hopeless existence; and it was clearly perceived, that a body rent by internal factions, and opposed by the whole force of the English court, could never succeed in fostering Virginia. The fate of the London company found little sympathy; in the domestic government and franchises of the colony, it produced no immediate change. Sir Francis Wyatt, though he had been an ardent friend of the London company, was confirmed in office; and he and his
Aug 26.
council, far from being rendered absolute, were only empowered to govern ‘as fully and amplye as any governor and council resident there, at any time within the space of five years now last past.’ This term of five years was precisely the period of representative government; and the limitation could not but be interpreted as sanctioning the continuance of popular assemblies. The king, in appointing the council in Virginia, refused to nominate the imbittered partisans of the court faction, but formed the administration on the principles of accommodation.1 The vanity of the
1625
monarch claimed the opportunity of establishing for the colony a code of fundamental laws; but death pre-
Mar 27
vented the royal legislator from attempting the task, which would have furnished his self-complacency so grateful an occupation.

1 Hazard, i. 189. 192. Burk, II. 11, from ancient records.

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