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[116] the rights of Connecticut; and Hillsborough showed
Chap. XXXI.} 1768. Jan.
plainly his opinion, that its Charter must be declared void, not on the pretence that it had been violated or misused, but because the people by the enjoyment of it were too free.

Connecticut so united caution with patriotism, that successive British Ministers were compelled to delay abrogating its Charter, for want of a plausible excuse. Hillsborough on his side, under the exterior of warm professions of tenderness, cherished the fixed purpose of disregarding colonial privileges. His apologists called him honest and well meaning; he was passionate and full of self-conceit;1 alert in conducting business; wrongheaded in forming his opinions, and pompously stiff in adhering to them. He proposed as his rule of conduct, to join inflexibility of policy with conciliatory language; and in a man of his moderate faculties, this attempt to join firmness with suavity became a mixture of obstinacy and deceit.

His first action respecting Massachusetts was marked by duplicity. Hutchinson, through Mauduit, his agent, and Jenkinson, obtained an annual grant of two hundred pounds sterling. Hillsborough gave to the grant the form of a secret warrant under the King's sign manual on the Commissioners of the Customs at Boston.2 That a Chief Justice, holding office during pleasure and constantly employing his power for political purposes, should also receive money from the King, was fatal to the independence of the bench;

1 Franklin's works, VII. 507.

2 Hutchinson to Hillsborough, 18 April, 1768. ‘I have good reason to believe I am indebted to your Lordship for the form of the warrant,’ viz., ‘warrant for £ 200 per annum, on the Commissioner of the Customs.’

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