penned in a still bolder style than those from Massa-
Chap. Xxxiii} 1768.
After this the Burgesses of Virginia
, to fulfil all their duty, not only assured Massachusetts
of their applause for its attention to American Liberty, but also directed their Speaker to write to the respective Speakers of all the Assemblies on the Continent, to make known their proceedings, and to intimate how necessary they thought it, that the Colonies should unite in a firm but decent opposition to every measure which might affect their rights and liberties.
In the midst of these proceedings of a representative body, which truly reflected the sentiments of a people, the Thirteenth British Parliament, the last which ever legislated for America
, was returned.
So infamous was the old House in public esteem, that one hundred and seventy of its members failed of being rechosen.1
But still corruption lost nothing of its effrontery; boroughs were sold openly, and votes purchased at advanced prices.
The market value of a seat in Parliament was four thousand pounds; at which rate the whole venal House
would have been bought for not much over two millions sterling,2
and a majority for not much over one million.
Yet in some places a contest cost the candidates twenty to thirty thousand pounds apiece, and it was affirmed that in Cumberland
one person lavished a hundred thousand pounds. The election was the warmest and most expensive ever known.
The number of disputed returns exceeded all precedent; as did the riots, into which a misguided populace,