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[171] ground his despotism in an appearance of law, Cum-
chap. VII.} 1754.
berland had caused the English Mutiny Bill to be revised, and its rigor doubled. On a sudden, at a most unusual period in the session, Fox showed Lord Egmont a clause for extending the Mutiny Bill to America, and subjecting the colonial militia, when in actual service, to its terrible severity.1 Egmont interceded to protect America from this new grievance of military law; but Charles Townshend defended the measure, and, turning to Lord Egmont, exclaimed, ‘Take the poor American by the hand and point out his grievances. I defy you, I beseech you, to point out one grievance. I know not of one.’ He pronounced a panegyric on the Board of Trade, and defended all their acts, in particular the instructions to Sir Danvers Osborne. The petition of the agent of Massachusetts was not allowed to be brought up. That to the House of Lords no one would offer;2 and the bill, with the clause for America, was hurried through parliament.

It is confidently stated, by the agent of Massachusetts, that a noble lord had then a bill in his pocket, ready to be brought in, to ascertain and regulate the colonial quotas.3 All England was persuaded of ‘the perverseness of the assemblies,’4 and inquiries were instituted relating to the easiest method of taxation by parliament. But, for the moment, the prerogative was employed; Braddock was ordered to exact a common revenue; and all the governors received

1 Calvert to Lieut. Gov. Sharpe. Walpole's Memoires, i., 365.

2 Letter of W. Bollan to Secretary Willard, 21 Dec., 1754; and to the Speaker of the Massachusetts Assembly, 29 Jan., 1755.

3 W. Bollan to the Speaker, 30 May, 1755.

4 Secretary Calvert to Lt. Gov. Sharpe, 20 Dec., 1754.

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