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[85] consequently subject to the influence of governors
chap. V.} 1763. Feb.
was to them an object of terror; and, from tenderness to the security of their lives, rights, and liberties, as well as fortunes, they prayed anxiously for leave to establish by law the independence and support of so important a tribunal. They produced, as an irrefragable argument, the example given in England after the accession of King William the Third, and they quoted the declaration of the present king himself, that he ‘looked upon the independency and uprightness of the judges as essential to the impartial administration of justice, one of the best securities to the rights and liberties of the subject, and as most conducive to the honor of the crown.’1 And, citing these words, which were the king's own to parliament on his coming to the throne, they express confidence in his undiscriminating liberality to all his good subjects, whether at home or abroad. But the voice of the Assembly, ‘supplicating with the most respectful humility,’ was unheeded; and the treasury board, at which Lord North had a seat, decided not only that the commission of the chief justice of New-York should be at the king's pleasure, but the amount and payment of his salary also.2 And this momentous precedent, so well suited to alarm the calmest statesmen of America, was decided as quietly as any ordinary piece of business. The judiciary of a continent was,

1 The king's speech to both houses of parliament, 3 March, 1761, recommending making the commissions of the judges perpetual during their good behavior, notwithstanding any future demise of the crown, &c. Annual Register, IV. 243.

2 Dyson, Secretary of the Treasury, to J. Pownall, Secretary of the Board of Trade, 29 Dec. 1762, in Treasury Letter Book, XXII. 353. Dyson to auditor of plantations, ib. Compare, as to the fact of the allowance, Lieut. Gov. Golden to board of trade, New-York, 8 July, 1763, and Chief Justice Smyth, of New Jersey, to Hillsborough, 20 Nov. 1768.

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