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‘ [113] to have the laws transmitted for the inspection of the
Chap. XXXI.} 1768. Jan.
Ministry as such, and for the purpose of approbation or disapprobation by his Majesty in Council, it is what the Colony has never done, and, I am persuaded, will never submit to. By the charter which King Charles the Second granted, the Colony was invested with a power of legislation, not subject to revision. In point of fact, your Lordship well knows, that those laws have never been re-examined here, that the Colony has for more than a century been in the full exercise of those powers, without the least check or interruption, except in a single instance, in such times and under such circumstances, as I believe you will not mention but with detestation, much less consider as a precedent.’

‘I have read your Charter,’ said Hillsborough; ‘it is very full and expressive; and I know what powers you have exercised under it. But there are such things as extravagant grants, which are, therefore, void. You will admit, there are many things which the King cannot grant, as the inseparable incidents of the Crown. Some things which King Charles pretended to grant, may be of that nature, particularly the power of absolute legislation, which tends to the absurdity of creating an independent state.’

‘Nobody,’ replied Johnson, ‘has ever reckoned the power of legislation among the inseparable incidents of the Crown. All lawyers are agreed, that it is an undisputed prerogative of the Crown to create corporations; and the power of law-making is, in some degree at least, incident to every corporation; depending not merely on the words of the grant, but founded in the reason of things, and coextensive with ’

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