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[82] On his advancement, Townshend became at once
chap. V.} 1763. Feb.
the most important man in the House of Commons; for Fox commanded no respect, and was preparing to retire to the House of Lords; and Grenville, offended at having been postponed, kept himself sullenly in reserve. Besides; America, which had been the occasion of the war, became the great subject of consideration at the peace; and the minister who was charged with its government took the lead in public business.

Townshend carried with him into the cabinet and the House of Commons the experience, the asperities and the prejudices of the Board of Trade; and his plan for the interference of the supreme legislature derived its character from the selfish influences under which it had been formed, and which aimed at obtaining an unlimited, lucrative and secure patronage.

The primary object was, therefore, a revenue, to be disposed of by the British ministry, under the sign manual of the king. The ministry would tolerate no further ‘the disobedience of long time to royal instructions,’ nor bear with the claim of ‘the lower houses of assemblies’ in the colonies to the right of deliberating on their votes of supply, like the parliament of Great Britain. It was announced ‘by authority’1 that there were to be ‘no more requisitions from the king,’ but instead of such requisitions an immediate taxation of the colonies by the British legislature.

The first charge upon that revenue was to be the civil list, that all the royal officers in America, the judges in every court not less than the executive, might be wholly superior to the assemblies, and dependent

1 Cecil Calvert, Secretary in England for Maryland, to H. Sharpe, Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, 1 March, 1763.

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