previous next
[105] of his subjects had given him the lie, applied1 to the
CHAP. VI.} 1763. April.
ministry for the protection to which every Englishman had a right. How to proceed became a question. Grenville,2 as a lawyer, knew, and ‘declared that general warrants were illegal;’ but conforming to ‘long established precedents,’ Halifax, as one of the secretaries of state, issued a general warrant for the arrest of all concerned in a publication which calm judgment3 pronounces unworthy of notice, but which all parties at that day branded as a libel. Wilkes was arrested; but on the doubtful plea that his privilege as a member of parliament had been violated, he was set at liberty by the popular Chief Justice Pratt. The opponents of the ministry hastened to renew the war of privilege against prerogative, with the advantage of being defenders of the constitution on a question affecting a vital principle of personal freedom. The cry for ‘Wilkes and Liberty’ was heard in all parts of the British dominion.4

In the midst of the confusion, Grenville set about confirming himself in power5 by diligence in the public business. ‘His self-conceit,’ said Lord Holland afterwards,6 ‘as well as his pride and obstinacy, established him.’ For the joint secretary of the treasury he selected an able and sensible lawyer, Thomas Whately, in whom he obtained a firm defender and political friend. His own secretary as Chancellor of

1 Grenville, in Knox's Considerations on the Present State of the Nation. 48.

2 Grenville's Speeches in the House of Commons, 16 December, 1768, and 3 February, 1769, in Wright's Cavendish Debates, i. 110, 160.

3 Mahon's History of England, IV.

4 Hutchinson's History of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, III. 163.

5 Grenville's Account of himself to Knox.

6 Lord Holland to George Selwyn.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Massachusetts Bay (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Halifax (United Kingdom) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
George Grenville (5)
Wilkes (2)
William Knox (2)
J. Wright (1)
Thomas Whately (1)
George Selwyn (1)
Pratt (1)
Mahon (1)
Hutchinson (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
February 3rd, 1769 AD (1)
December 16th, 1768 AD (1)
1763 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: