to govern by instructions, to obtain a revenue
by royal requisitions, to fix quotas by a council of crown officers.
No power but that of parliament can overrule the colonial assemblies.
Such was the doctrine of Murray
, who was himself able to defend his system, being unrivalled in debate, except by William Pitt
The advice of this illustrious jurist was the more authoritative, because he ‘had long known the Americans
‘I began life with them,’ said he, on a later occasion, ‘and owe much to them, having been much concerned in the plantation causes before the Privy Council.
So I became a good deal acquainted with American affairs and people.’1
During the discussions that are now to be related, he was often consulted by the agents of the American
His opinion, coinciding with that of Hardwicke
, was applauded by the Board of Trade, and became the corner-stone of British policy.
On this theory of parliamentary supremacy Shirley
and his associates placed their reliance.
Under his advice,2
it was secretly, but firmly, resolved to bring the disputes between governors and American assemblies to a crisis; New York was selected as the theatre, and the return of peace as the epoch, for the experiment; elaborate documents prepared the ministry for the struggle; and Clinton
was to extort from the colonial legislature fixed salaries and revenues at the royal disposition, or, by producing extreme disorder,