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[275] day.1 ‘The British Administration will come to no
Chap XL.} 1769. April
decision,’ such was Du Chatelet's report to Choiseul. ‘They will push time by the shoulder, till the Americans consolidate their union, and form a general plan of resistance.’2

The question turned on the reality of the principle of representation. America was not alone in asserting representative liberty; the principle was at the same time violated in England. The freeholders of Middlesex elected Wilkes to represent their shire in Parliament. The King wished him expelled; and the House of Commons expelled him. The people rallied to his support; the City of London made him one of its magistrates; by the unanimous vote of Middlesex he was again returned. The House of Commons voted the return to be null and void. The public mind was profoundly agitated; men united as ‘Supporters of the Bill of Rights,’ to pay the debts of Wilkes and his election expenses. A third time he was returned and unanimously; for his intended competitor proved too much of a craven to appear. Once more his election was voted to be null. At a fourth trial he was opposed by Luttrell, but polled nearly three fourths of all the votes. The House of Commons, this time, treated him as a person incapacitated to be a candidate, and received Luttrell in his stead. Their disfranchisement of Wilkes had no authority in law, and violated the vital principle of representative Government; by admitting Luttrell, they sequestered and usurped the elective franchise of Middlesex; and Wilkes, who, if he had been left

1 W. S. Johnson to Governor Trumbull, 26 April, 1769.

2 Du Chatelet to Choiseul, 21 April, 1769.

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