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[253] chancery court, in which he himself was chancellor.
Chap. XIV.}
The councillors might advise, but were without a vote. An arbitrary table of fees followed of course. This is the period when royal authority was at its height in Virginia. The executive, the council, the judges, the sheriffs, the county commissioners, and local magistrates, were all appointed directly or indirectly by the crown. Virginia had no town-meetings—no village democracies—no free municipal institutions. The custom of colonial assemblies remained, but the assembly was chosen under a restricted franchise; its most confidential officer was ordered to be appointed
1686 Aug. 1
by the governor,1 and its power over the revenue was lost by the perpetual levy which it could not recall. The indulgence of liberty of conscience, and the enfranchisement of Papists, were in themselves unexceptionable measures; they could bring no detriment to colonial liberties. Yet Protestantism and popular liberty in that day were identified, and toleration itself was suspected in King James. Is it strange that the colony was agitated by a party favorable to freedom? The year after Bacon's rebellion, when the royal commissioners forcibly seized the records of the assembly, the act had been voted ‘a violation of privilege,’ ‘an outrage never practised by the kings of England,’ and ‘never to be offered in failure.’ When the records were again demanded,
that this resolution might be expunged, Beverley, the clerk of the house, refused obedience to the lieutenant-governor and council, saying he might not do it without leave of the burgesses, his masters.2 The same spirit of resistance was manifested by succeeding assemblies. In 1685, the first assembly convened

1 Hening, III. 40, 41, 550.

2 Ibid. III. 548. Burk, ii. 215, 236, 242, 243.

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