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[54] most certain,1 before embarking received from Colden
chap. II.} 1749.
an elaborate argument, in which revenue to the crown, independent of the American people, was urged as indispensable; and to obtain it, ‘the most prudent method,’ it was insisted, ‘would be by application to parliament.’2

But before Shirley arrived in Europe, the ministry was already won to his designs. On the first day of June, the Board of Trade had been recruited by a young man gifted with ‘a thousand talents,’3 the daring and indefatigable Charles Townshend. A younger son of Lord Townshend, ambitious, capable of unwearied labor, bold, and somewhat extravagant in his style of eloquence, yet surpassed, as a debater, only by Murray and Pitt, he was introduced to office through the commission for the colonies. His extraordinary and restless ability rapidly obtained sway at the board; Halifax cherished him as a favorite, and the parliament very soon looked up to him as ‘the greatest master of American affairs.’

How to regulate charters and colonial governments, and provide an American civil list independent of American legislatures, was the earliest as well as the latest political problem which Charles Townshend attempted to solve. At that time, Murray, as crown lawyer, ruled the cabinet on questions of legal right; Dorset, the father of Lord George Germain, was president of the Council; Lyttelton and George Grenville were already of the Treasury Board; and Sandwich, raised by his hold on the affections of the Duke of Bedford, presided at the

1 Clinton to Colden, 6 November, 1749.

2 Colden to Shirley, 25 July, 1749.

3 ‘Of a thousand talents.’ This praise came from David Hume.

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