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‘ [246] several Resolutions which may show the sense
Chap. XXXIX.} 1768. Dec.
of the Legislature. If this is not sufficient, the hand of power must be lifted up, and the whole force of this country exerted to bring the Colonies into subjection.’ The Resolutions condemned the Assembly of Massachusetts, its Council, and still more its Convention; approved of sending a military force to Boston; and foreshadowed the abrogation of the municipal liberties of that town, and the intended change in the Charter of the Province.

Hillsborough was seconded by Bedford, who also moved an Address to the King,1 to bring to ‘condign punishment the chief authors and instigators of the late disorders;’ and if sufficient ground should be seen, to put them on trial for ‘treason’ before a special Commission in England, ‘pursuant to the provisions of the statute of the Thirty-fifth year of King Henry the Eighth.’ The Resolutions and Address were readily adopted, with no opposition except from Richmond and Shelburne. The policy of the Administration deceived neither France nor America. ‘Under the semblance of vigor,’ said Choiseul,‘it covers pusillanimity and fear. If those who are threatened with a trial for High Treason, are not alarmed, the terror and discouragement will affect nobody but the British Ministers. And after all, the main question of taxing the Colonies is as far from a solution as ever.’2

At Boston the attempt was made to spread terror by threats of seizing the popular leaders. ‘They expect a voyage to England against their inclination;’

1 Parliamentary Hist. XVI. 479, 480.

2 Choiseul to Du Chatelet, Ver sailles, 24 Dec. 1768.

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