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[39] which Bedford and Halifax both favored as essential
chap. II.} 1748. Nov.
to royal authority, Virginia, with the consent of Gooch, its lieutenant-governor, transferred by law1 the patronage of all the livings to the vestries. The act was included among the revised laws, and met with the king's approbation.2 But from the time that its purpose was perceived, Sherlock became persuaded, that ‘Virginia, formerly an orderly province, had nothing more at heart than to lessen the influence of the crown.’3

Letters from Pennsylvania warned the ministers, that as the ‘obstinate, wrong-headed Assembly of Quakers’ in that province ‘pretended not to be accountable to his Majesty or his government,’ they ‘might in time apply the public money to purposes injurious to the crown and the mother country.’

But nowhere did popular power seem to the royalists so deeply or dangerously seated as in New England, where every village was a little self-constituted democracy, whose organization had received the sanction of law and the confirmation of the king. Especially Boston, whose people had liberated its citizen mariners, when impressed by a British admiral in their harbor, was accused of ‘a rebellious insurrection.’ ‘The chief cause,’ said Shirley,4 ‘of the mobbish turn of a town inhabited by twenty thousand persons, is its constitution, by which the management of it devolves on the populace, assembled in their town-meetings.’ With the Assembly which represented the towns

1 Hening's Statutes at large, VI. 90. XXII. Geo. II., chap. XXXIV. § 7.

2 Dinwiddie to the Earl of Holdernesse, 5 June, 1753.

3 Bishop of London to the Board of Trade.

4 Shirley to the Board of Trade.

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