previous next
‘ [428] Englishmen in this respect;’ and he himself was treated
chap. XVIII.} 1761.
with such indignity for accepting the office on other terms, that it was thought to have shortened his life.1

But the idea of equality in political rights between England and the colonies could not be comprehended by the English officials of that day; and in November, about a month after Pitt's retirement, the Board of Trade reported to the king against the tenure of good behavior, as ‘a pernicious proposition,’ ‘subversive of all true policy,’ ‘and tending to lessen the just dependence of the colonies upon the government of the mother country.’2 The representation found favor with George; and, as the first fruits of the new system, on the ninth of December the instruction went forth through Egremont to all colonial governors, to grant no judicial commissions but during pleasure.

To make the, tenure of the judicial office the king's will was to make the bench of judges the instruments of the prerogative, and to subject the administration of justice throughout all America to the influence of an arbitrary and irresponsible power. The Assembly of New York rose up against the encroachment, deeming it a deliberate step towards despotic authority; the standing instruction they resolved should be changed, or they, on their part, would grant no salary whatever to the judges.

‘Things are come to a crisis,’ wrote Pratt, in

January, 1762, guided by his interest, and chiefly intent on securing a good salary. ‘If I cannot be supported with a competent salary, the office must be abandoned, and his Majesty's prerogative must suffer.’

1 Elbridge Gerry to S. Adams, 2 Nov., 1772.

2 Representation of the Lords of Trade to the king, 18 Nov., 1761.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Egremont (Massachusetts, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Charles Pratt (1)
William Pitt (1)
Elbridge Gerry (1)
Samuel Adams (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
November 2nd, 1772 AD (1)
January, 1762 AD (1)
1762 AD (1)
November 18th, 1761 AD (1)
1761 AD (1)
December 9th (1)
November (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: