The strength of the ministry was tested on their
chap. XXIV.} 1766.
introducing a new tax on windows.
,’ said Grenville
, ‘must now pay what the colonists should have paid;’1
and the subject was referred to a committee by a diminished majority.
not only gave up the Stamp Tax
, but itself defrayed the expenses2
of the experiment out of the sinking fund.
The treasury asked what was to be done with the stamps in those colonies where the Stamp Act had not taken place?3
and they were ordered to be returned to England
where the curious traveller may still see bags of them, cumbering the office from which they were issued.
At the same time the merchants of London
wrote to entreat the merchants of America
to take no offence at the declaratory act, and in letters, which Rockingham
and Sir George Saville5
corrected, the ministers signified to the dissenters in America
, how agreeable the spirit of gratitude would be to the dissenters in England
, and to the Presbyterians to the north of the Tweed.6
A change of ministry was more and more spoken of. The nation demanded to see Pitt
in the government; and two of the ablest members of the cabinet, Grafton
, continued to insist upon it. But Rockingham
, who, during the repeal of the Stamp Act, had been dumb, leaving the brunt of the battle to be borne by Camden
and Shelburne, was determined it should not be so;7