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[134] freeholders elected but one branch of the legislature,
chap. VI.} 1754.
and here, as in every royal government, the council formed another. In Virginia there was less strife than elsewhere between the executive and the Assembly, partly because the king had a permanent revenue from quitrents and perpetual grants, partly because the governor resided in England, and was careful that his deputy should not hazard his sinecure by controversy. In consequence, the Council, by its weight of personal character, gained unusual influence. The Church of England was supported by legislative authority, and the plebeian sects were as yet proscribed, but the great extent of the parishes prevented all unity of public worship. Bedford, when in office, had favored the appointment of an Anglican bishop in America; but, as his decisive opinion and the importunities of Sherlock and Secker had not prevailed, the benefices were filled by priests ordained in England, and for the most part of English birth, too often ill-educated and licentious men, whose crimes quickened Virginia to assume the advowson of its churches. The province had not one large town; the scattered mode of life made free schools not easily practicable. Sometimes the sons of wealthy planters repaired to Europe; here and there a man of great learning, some Scottish loyalist, some exile around whom misfortune spread a mystery, sought safety and gave instruction in Virginia. The country within tide-water was divided among planters, who, in the culture of tobacco, were favored by British legislation. Insulated on their large estates, they were cordially hospitable. In the quiet of their solitary life, unaided by an active press, they learned from nature what others caught from philosophy, to

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