There he paused.
His colleagues desired to extend the Mutiny Act
with power to billet troops on private houses.
Clauses for that purpose, drafted by Robertson
, the Deputy Quartermaster General
were sent home by Gage
, and recommended strongly to be enacted.2
They had neither the entire conviction nor the cordial support of Grenville
so that they were referred by Halifax4
to Welbore Ellis
, the Secretary at War
, by whom they were introduced and carried through.
In their progress, provincial barracks, inns, alehouses, barns, and empty houses were substituted by the merchants and agents for private houses; but there remained the clause to compel the colonies to furnish the troops, at the expense of the colony, with fire, candles, vinegar, salt, bedding, utensils for cooking, beer, or cider, or rum; and the sums needed for the purpose were ‘required to be raised in such manner as the public charges for the province are raised.’5
Thus the bill contained, what had never before been heard of, a parliamentary requisition on the colonies; it enjoined things ‘different from the general principles of the constitution,’ and passed without attentive