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‘ [246] of a people from whom this country derives its great-
chap. XI.} 1765 Feb.
est commerce, wealth, and consideration.’1 In reply, Charles Yorke entered into a very long and most elaborate defence of the bill, resting his argument on the supreme and sovereign authority of parliament. The colonies, he insisted, with a vast display of legal erudition, were but corporations; their power of legislation was but the power of making by-laws, subject to parliamentary control. Their charters could not convey the legislative power of Great Britain, because the prerogative could not grant that power. The charters of the proprietary governments were but the king's standing commissions: the proprietaries were but his hereditary governors. The people of America could not be taken out of the general and supreme jurisdiction of parliament.

The authority of Yorke seemed conclusive: less than forty were willing to receive the petition of Virginia. A third from South Carolina, a fourth from Connecticut, though expressed in the most moderate language; a fifth from Massachusetts, though silent even about the question of ‘right,’ all shared the same refusal.2 That from New-York no one could be prevailed upon to offer.3 That from Rhode Island, offered by Sherwood, its faithful agent, claimed by their charter, under a royal promise, equal rights with their fellow-subjects in Great Britain; and insisted that the colony had faithfully kept their part of the compact; but it was as little heeded as the rest. The House of

1 Letter from London to New-York, 16 Feb. 1765, in Boston Gazette of 3 June.

2 J. Mauduit's letter, 19 Feb. 1765. Journals of the House.

3 Ingersoll's Letters, 21. Letter of Charles, the agent for New-York, to the New-York Committee, 9 Feb. 1765. Ms. Memorandum of Geo. Chalmers.

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