known opinion of the king, ‘would be peculiarly
proper, we in effect annihilate this branch of the legislature, and vote ourselves useless.’
The people of England
had once adopted that opinion.
It was certain that the people of America
were already convinced that the House of Lords had outlived its functions, and was for them become worse than ‘useless.’
On the morning of the eighteenth day of March, the king went in state to Westminster
, and gave his assent, among other bills, to what ever after he regarded as the well-spring of all his sorrows, ‘the fatal repeal of the Stamp Act.’
He returned from signing the repeal, amid the shouts and huzzas of the applauding multitude.
There was a public dinner of the friends of America
in honor of the event; Bow bells were set a ringing; and on the Thames
the ships displayed all their colors.
At night a bonfire was kindled, and houses were illuminated all over the city.
An express was dispatched to Falmouth
with letters to different provinces, to transmit the news of the repeal as rapidly as possible to the colonies, nor was it at that time noticed, that the ministry had carried through the mutiny bill,1
with the obnoxious American clauses of the last year; and that the king, in giving his assent to the repeal2
of the Stamp Act, had also given his assent to the act declaratory3
of the supreme power of parliament over America
in all cases whatsoever.
While swift vessels hurried with the news across the Atlantic
, the cider act was modified by the ministry,