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[80] Mansfield,1 the illustrious jurist, who had boasted pub-
chap. V.} 1763. Feb.
licly of his early determination never to engage in public life, ‘but upon whig principles;’2 and, in conformity to them, had asserted that an act of parliament in Great Britain could alone prescribe rules for the reduction of refractory colonial assemblies.3— There was George Grenville, then first Lord of the Admiralty, bred to the law; and ever anxious to demonstrate that all the measures which he advocated reposed on the British Constitution, and the precedents of 1688; eager to make every part of the British empire tributary to the prosperity of Great Britain, and making the plenary authority of the British Legislature the first article of his political creed.—There was the place as Keeper of the Privy Seal for Bedford, the head of the house of Russell, and the great representative of the landed aristocracy of Great Britain, absent from England at the moment, but, through his friends, ready to applaud the new colonial system, to which he had long ago become a convert.—There was the weak and not unamiable Halifax, so long the chief of the American administration, heretofore baffled by the colonies, and held in check by Pitt; willing himself to be the instrument to carry his long cherished opinions of British omnipotence into effect.—There was the self-willed, hot-tempered Egremont, using the patronage of his office to enrich his family and friends; the same who had menaced Maryland, Pennsylvania and North Carolina—obstinate and impatient of contradiction, ignorant

1 Lord Campbell's Lives of the Chief Justices, II. 459-460.

2 Murray's speech in his own defence before the Lords of the Privy Council in 1753.

3 Opinion of Sir Dudley Rider and Hon. William Murray, Attorney and Solicitor General, in October, 1744.

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