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[379] James Otis, of Barnstable, a good lawyer, a member
chap. XVI.} 1760.
of the Council, and acceptable to the community. Besides, former governors had promised him a seat on the bench at the first vacancy.1 But Bernard appointed Thomas Hutchinson, originally a merchant by profession, subservient in his politics, already lieutenant governor, councillor, and judge of probate. A burst of indignation broke from the colony at this union of such high executive, legislative, and judicial functions in one person, who was not bred to the law, and was expected to interpret it for the benefit of the prerogative. Oxenbridge Thacher, a lawyer of great merit, a man of sagacity and patriotism, respected for learning, ability, purity of life, and moderation, discerned the dangerous character of Hutchinson's ambition, and from this time denounced him openly and always; while James Otis, the younger, offended as a son and a patriot, resigned the office of advocate-general, and by his eloquence in opposition to the royalists, set the province in a flame. But the new chief justice received the iterated application for writs of assistance, and delayed the decision of the court only till he could write to England.

There the Board of Trade had matured its system. They agreed with what Dobbs had written from North Carolina, that ‘it was not prudent, when unusual supplies were asked, to litigate any point with the factious assemblies; but upon an approaching peace, it would be proper to insist on the king's prerogative.’ ‘Lord Halifax,’ said Seeker of that nobleman, about the time of his forfeiting an advantageous

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