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, on the twenty-ninth of March, Journals of House of Commons, XXIX. 623. postponed. Had Bute continued longer at the head of affairs, the government must soon have been at the mercy of a successful opposition: Bute to one of his friends, in Adolphus i. 117. had he made way unreservedly for a sole minister in his stead, the aristocratic party might have recovered and long retained the entire control of the administration. Fox to the Duke of Cumber-land, in Albemarle's Memoirs of Rockingham, i. 131. By his instances to retire, made a half a year before, the king had been so troubled, that he frequently sat for hours together leaning his head upon his arm without speaking; Grenville's Narrative, in the Grenville Papers, i. 435. chap. V.} 1763. Mar. and at last when he consented to a change, it was on condition that in the new administration there should be no chief minister. For a moment Grenville, to whom the treasury was offered, affected to be coy. My dear George, s
; but, in the handsomest manner, wished to be omitted. Bute to Grenville, 1 April, 1763, in Grenville Papers, II. 41. As to the other insinuation, the concealment of Bute's purpose of resigning, whether blamable or not, was the act of Bute himself, with whom Fox negotiated directly. I am come from Lord Bute, writes Fox to the Duke of Cumberland, on the 30 Sept. 1762, more than ever convinced that he never has had, nor now has, a thought of retiring or treating. Alhemarle's Memoirs of Rockingham, i. 132. That Fox was with Bute repeatedly before superseding Grenville in the lead of the House of Commons, appears from Albemarle, i. 127, 129 and 132. Bedford Correspondence, III. 124 and 133. That Fox did not regard this concealment as an offence appears from his own testimony; for he himself, in December, 1763, said to Grenville, that he believed Lord Bute to be a perfect honest man; that he respected him as such; and that in the intercourse between them Lord Bute had never broken
, directed Egremont to invite Lord Hardwicke to enter the cabinet, as President of the Council. It is impossible for me, said Hardwicke, at an interview on the first day of August, The date of Newcastle's letter, in Albemarle's Memoirs of Rockingham, i. 169, is given as of June 30, 1763, a mistake, for the letter refers to the conversation held in August. to accept an employment, whilst all my friends are out of court. Hardwicke to his son, 5 August, 1763, in Harris, 370. The king, said; or, which is more probable, aware that the actual ministry could not go on, was himself deceived by his own presumptuously hopeful nature into a belief that those who made the overture must carry it through, he summoned Newcastle, Devonshire, Rockingham, and Hardwicke Hardwicke in Harris, III. 379. to come to London as his council. From his own point of view, there was no unreasonableness W. Gerard Hamilton in Chatham Cor. II. 378. in his demands. But to the court it seemed otherwise
hindered the sun's setting. The tide against the Americans was irresistible. We have power to tax them, said one of the ministry, and we will tax them. Letter from London, of Oct. 1765, quoted in R. H. Lee's of 2 Feb. 1766. The nation was provoked by American claims of independence (of parliament), and all parties joined in resolving by this act to settle the point. Franklin to Charles Thompson, Ms. On the twenty-seventh of February, the Stamp Act passed the House of Commons. Rockingham had freely expressed his opinion at Sir George Saville's as to the manner in which the colonies could best resist it. Letter from London, by William Bollan. In public he was silent. Lord Temple Phillimore's Lyttelton, II. 690. had much private conversation with Lord Lyttelton on the subject; and both approved the principle of the measure, and the right asserted in it. Had there existed any doubt concerning that right, they were of opinion it should then be debated, before the honor of
one of the opposite party, and from a pension bestowed by Halifax. It was characteristic of that period for a man like Rockingham to hold for life a retainer like Edmund Burke; and never did a true-hearted, kindly and generous patron find a more fai The ministry would have restored Shelburne to the Presidency of the Board of Trade; but he excused himself, because Rockingham, on taking office, had given no pledges but as to men. Measures, not men, said Shelburne, will be the rule of my condus a coronet and prays. A peerage was conferred on Pratt, who took the chap. XV.} 1765. July. name of Camden; though Rockingham was averse to his advancement. But it was through Rockingham himself, that Lord George Sackville, who had been degradepeals to the privy council from any verdict given by any jury in the courts of New-York; while the Treasury Board, with Rockingham at its head, directed the attorney and solicitor general to prepare instruments for collecting in Canada, by the king's
Chapter 16: How the Stamp officers were Handled in America— administration of Rockingham. August—September, 1765. Six weeks and more before the news of the change of chap. XVI.} 1765. Aug. ministry was received in Boston, and while the passions of the public mind throughout the continent were still rising, Jared Ingersoll, of Connecticut, late agent for that province, now its stamp-master, arrived from England at Boston; and the names of the stamp distributors were published on the eighth of August. But Grenville's craftily devised policy of employing Americans failed from the beginning. It will be as in the West Indies, clamored the people; there the negro overseers are the most cruel. Had you not rather, said a friend of Ingersoll, these duties should be collected by your brethren than by foreigners? No, vile miscreant! indeed we had not, answered Dagget, Connecticut Gaz. 9 August. of New Haven. If your father must die, is there no defect in filial duty in be
Chapter 17: America reasons against the Stamp Act—ministry of Rockingham continued. September, 1765. during these acts of compulsory submission, and chap. XVI.} 1765 Sept. while Boston, in a full town-meeting unanimously asked the pictures of Conway and Barre for Faneuil Hall, the Lords of the Treasury in England, Rockingham, Dowdeswell, and Lord John Cavendish being present, held meetings almost daily, to carry the Stamp Act into effect; and without any apparent reluctance, compleRockingham, Dowdeswell, and Lord John Cavendish being present, held meetings almost daily, to carry the Stamp Act into effect; and without any apparent reluctance, completed the lists of stamp officers; provided for the instant filling of vacancies that might result from death or neglect; signed warrants for the expense of preparing the American stamps; and enjoined the Governor to superintend and assist their distribution. Treasury Minute Book, XXXVII. 120, 123, 133. Treasury Letter, Book, XXIII. 205, 214. These minutes might have had their excuse in the principle, that there existed no power to dispense with the law of the land; but Dartmouth, from the Boa
to take advantage of the impending crisis. The amiable, but inexperienced men who formed the active ministry of England, were less discerning. The names of Rockingham, and Grafton, and Conway, must be pronounced with respect; yet suddenly and unexpectedly brought to the administration of an empire, they knew not what to propoributors; and the resolves of Virginia were reserved for the consideration of that very parliament which had passed the Stamp Act by a majority of five to one. Rockingham had promised nothing to the friends of America but relief to trade, where it was improperly curbed. To rouse the ministry from its indifference, Thomas Hollis, Oct. who perceived in the ugly squall, that had just reached them from America, the forerunner of the gen- chap. XVIII.} 1765. Oct. eral hurricane, waited on Rockingham, with the accounts which he had received from Mayhew, Mayhew to Hollis, 26 Sept. that the Stamp Act, and the power given to the Admiralty courts to dispense
ed on the right to tax America; while Grafton and Conway inclined to abdicate the pretended right, and the kind-hearted Rockingham declared himself ready to repeal a hundred Stamp Acts, rather than run the risk of such confusion as would be caused bypeal, no hope was given of relief; and though the committee of merchants, who on the twelfth day of December waited on Rockingham, Dowdeswell, chap. XX.} 1765. Dec. Conway, and Dartmouth, were received with dispassionate calmness, it was announced Of these, Dartmouth added that the most important related to New-York, and had been received within four or five days. Rockingham was dumb. Shelburne alone, unsupported by a single peer, intimated plainly his inclination for a repeal of the law. Be is a long way to extend them. Especially it is observable that Lord George Sackville, just rescued from disgrace by Rockingham, manifested his desire to enforce the Stamp Act. Letter from London of Dec. 22 and 24, 1765, in Boston Gaz. 17 Feb.
ht be borne down. Of this conversation the Duke of Grafton made so good a use, that, by the king's direction, he and Rockingham waited on Pitt, on Saturday the eighteenth, when Pitt once more expressed his readiness to act with those now in the mitogether. But no sooner had Pitt consented to renounce his connection with Temple, and unite with the ministry, than Rockingham interposed objections, alike of a personal nature, and of principle. The speechless prime minister, having tasted the o keep the whole body of this authority perfect and entire. He was jealous of it; he was honestly of that opinion; and Rockingham, after proceeding so far, and finding in Pitt all the encouragement that he expected, let the negotiation drop. Conway to the opinion, which was that of Charles Yorke, the Attorney-General, and still more of Edmund Burke. Neglected by Rockingham, hated by the aristocracy, and feared by the king, Pitt pursued his career alone. In the quiet of confidential interco
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