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[229] This commission, which was prepared by the chancel-
chap. IX.} 1756.
lor, Hardwicke, established a military power throughout the continent, independent of the colonial governors, and superior to them. They in right of their office might claim to be the civil and military representatives of the king; yet they could not give the word within their own respective provinces except in the absence of the continental commander and his representatives;1 and this commission, so contrary to the spirit of the British constitution, was renewed successively and without change till the period of independence. Such were the powers with which Loudoun was sent forth to unite America by military rule, to sway its magistrates by his authority, and to make its assemblies ‘distinctly and precisely understand’ that the king ‘required’ of them ‘a general fund, to be issued and applied as the commander-in-chief should direct,’ and ‘provision for all such charges as might arise from furnishing quarters.’

The administration was confirmed in its purpose of throwing the burden of furnishing quarters upon the colonies by the authority of Murray. His opinion against the statute of Pennsylvania, which, in extending the act of parliament to punish mutiny, regulated the providing of quarters, drew a distinction between Englishmen and Americans. ‘The law,’ said he, ‘assumes propositions true in the mother country, and rightly asserted in the reign of Charles the First and Charles the Second, in times of peace, and when soldiers were kept up without the consent of parliament; but the application of such positions, in tine ’

1 See the Commission and Instructions.

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