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[253]

Chapter 12:

The ministry offend the king as well as the colonies— administration of Grenville continued.


April—May, 1765.

events within the palace delayed the conflict with
chap. XII.} 1765. April
America. The king, in his zeal to give the law to his ministers and to govern as well as reign, lost his opportunity of enforcing the stamp act. No sooner had he recovered from the illness, of which the true nature was kept secret even from the members of his cabinet, than, bearing in mind that the heir to the throne was an infant of but two years old, he fearlessly contemplated the contingency of his own incapacity or death; and though his nerves were still tremulous from mental disease, he, with the aid of Lord Holland, framed a plan for a regency. The manifest want of confidence in his ministers roused their jealousy, and when they received his orders to prepare a bill for carrying his design into effect, they thought to fix in the public mind their hostility to Bute and win popularity by disqualifying the princess dowager. To this end, in the choice of the regent, the king was to be ‘restrained to the queen or any other person of the royal family.’ He approved the minute entirely, not knowing that, in the opinion of Bedford, Grenville, Halifax and Sandwich, his own

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