proprietors to resist every encroachment from Eng-
land; meeting the political theories of colonial subordination at the threshold; teaching the method of increasing colonial power by the system of annual grants; demanding permanent commissions for their judicial officers; opposing the extension of the admiralty jurisdiction; and vehemently resisting the admission of bishops, as involving ecclesiastical courts and new prerogatives.
In no province was the near approach of independence discerned so clearly, or so openly predicted.
New York had been settled under large patents of lands to individuals; New England
under grants to towns; and the institution of towns was its glory and its strength.
The inhabited part of Massachusetts
was recognised as divided into little territories, each of which, for its internal purposes, constituted a separate integral government, free from supervision, having power to choose annually its own officers; to hold meetings of all freemen at its own pleasure; to discuss in those meetings any subject of public interest; to see that every able-bodied man within its precincts was duly enrolled in the militia and always provided with arms, ready for immediate use; to elect and to instruct its representatives; to raise and appropriate money for the support of the ministry, of schools, of highways, of the poor, and for defraying other necessary expenses within the town.
It was incessantly deplored by royalists of later days, that the law which confirmed these liberties had received the unconscious sanction of William the Third, and the most extensive interpretation in practice.
, even, on more than one occasion, ventured in town meeting to appoint