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domestic legislation of the mother country, are no more dependent upon it in the general system, thần the Ne of Man is, or than in the feudal system of Europe, many subordinate principalities are dependent on the jurisdi&tion of the Seignior Suzerai n, or Lord Paramount, but owing only a limited obedience.
" It is not meant by what has been said, io 'effect the case of any external duties laid upon their ports, or of any restrictions, which by the act of navigation, or other acts, are laid upon their commerce ; for they are in the same case as all other colonies belong. ing to the rest of the maritime powers in Europe, who have fut up their colonies, which out-grew their mother countries, such as Carthage, the northern emigrants, &c. Precedents were also quoted from what happened in the Netherlands, and other places, which thould serve as a beacon to warn us from pursuing such measures as brought about those reyolu. tions."
The arguments that were used without doors on both sides were much of the same nature with the following: " What a noise," says an advocate on the one fide; “ have we had of late about American charters, American legislation, American freeholders, and the privileges of those freeholders? But is there any legislation in America ? Are there any freeholders there? No man who knows any thing of the law ofEngland will assert that there is any legislation in : America, or one freeholder in that part of the world, The king has no power of legislation, and he cannoc by his charters convey to any class of his subjects a power not resident in the crown. The parliament, including his majesty, as the head chereof, has a power of legislation, but they possess that power una. lienably.
“ The power of legislation is not a chattle to be disposed of by grant or other conveyance. It is a trult granted by the common law for the good of the community, and for their good must remain with the august body in which it resides. The power of ma. king bye-latvs, for the utility of subordinate bodies politic, is a quite different affair. That power is of. cen created by the parliament, which has essencially,
in itfelf, all the powers of government. But charters : from the crown, not confirmed in parliament, cap
convey no jurisdiction whatever, because the king is not the fountain of law, as he is of honour...
"All our courts, from those in Westminster-hall to thofe in manors, are founded on the custom of England, time out of mind, or upon the law of the land; that is, statutes made in parliament The par, liament only can create new courts and new jurisdictions. But as the king must govern by the law, hes cannot make that law upon 'which his authority rests, nor by his chariers convey to others a power which he enjoys dot. :“ Every foot of ground in England lies in some manor, which is itself the creature of custom time out of mind. These manors antieptly poffefsed all juris, diction civil and criminal; and this jurifdi&tion was exerted in the court of freeholders, in which the lord, or his steward, was the judge, the freeholders serving as jurors, by virtue of their freeholds. Thus you see that our freeholders are, by virtue of their freehold, poff-ssed of a radical judicative authority in manors, which they are entitled to by the common law, and possess their estates by the same tenure by which his majesty holds his crown. They are indebted to no prince for this estate and judicative authority thereto appendant. Their title to their lands is
a ride of independence, and in every respect equal to the royal çitle by which the crown is held.
" And as these freehold estates are of a very par. ticular nature with respect to their origin, so they are conveyed in a very particular manner. They can. not be taken by a writ of fieri facias. And if they are feized by a writ of elegit, one moiety only of the estate can be applied, for paymen of the debt and costs on which the judgment is founded, the other moiery much remain for his support and maintenance. The freehold descends to the heir, discharged of all debts, or specialties. wisho,
“Now, we have seen what an English freehold is. Are there any such estates in America? I am certain there are not. There can be no manors in that part of the world, for we can hew the origin of their te. Dures. Their properties, pretended legislative authority, and the existence of wbat they call freeholds can be traced from prerogative. Are our freeholds own ing to human beneficence? No; We can name feveral persons who oppressed us; but the Americans can point out none who have conferred upon us our estates, or any privileges whatever. Is there an estate in America which may not be taken by the same writ that takes in execution a negro.or a horse? The whole course of chancery proves that their estates are only commercial chattles, subject to che disposition of the last will of the owner, and chargeable with all the debes of the deceased proprietor. And left any doubt Thould arise about the propriety of these decreęs in equity, equalizing a foreign plantation to a personal estare, there was a ftature made in the fifth year of the preceding reign, declarative of the common law in this respect, and staturing that foreign plantations hould only be regarded in the light of personal estates
After that law, what man in his right senses can dignis fy those estates with the name of freeholds?
6 The American estates are deftitute of the principal characteristic of a freehold. They are derived frona royal grants for the improvement of commerce. The pretended American freeholders are ngt original members of any court, by virtue of their freeholds.' They have no manors, nor manor.çourts in America, and consequently no courts to which the pretended Ame. rican freeholders repair, by virtue of their freeholds, and in consequence of a title paramount to all hụman. Jaws. Why then should they pretend to equalize their supposed freeholds with ours ? An absolute ig. norance of all and common sense could only give birth to fuch injudicious' conduct. Our freeholders have a share in the legislation; because by customs as ancient as those that establish government, they are entitled to rule in a certain district of the kingdom. Can the Americans boast of the existence of any such customs among them, or of estates and judicative au. thority derived out of these customs? Why then should the pretend to be freeholders, and as such only. fub. ject to the legislation of their own election, .,',
« The Americans will, perhaps, reply, that they serve on juries when cahed by the King's writ into the supreme court of their refpe&tive provinces, ... But this happens not as with us by the excellency of tenures, whose origin is unknown, but is owing to the grace of those princes who, without the authority of law, granted them that constitution. Are tenures flowing from the prince equal to: tępures held inde. pendent of the crown? Surely not. The Americans have no rights but from royal grants; and of conse. quence those rights must not be extended beyond their patural meaning, or interpreted to the prejudice of
those who by an inherent right, independent of the crown, govern the whole kingdom. The privileges of persons claiming under so high a tenure, cannot be impaired by deeds from the crown, and consequen:ly the government of our parliament must reach over all the English dominions, as if no such grants had been made, and po estates derived out of thein.” . . ir
A Writer on the other side says, “ The question if properly understood, is not concerning a three-penny stamp, but liberty. Not that liberty which is the tool of contending parties, the key to power, or the revi. ler of a minister's cradle; but that true and genuinç liberty which expands and ennobles the heart of the poorest freeholder, and prevents his property from being touched, but by the permission of those who by the constitution are his representatives in parliament.
“ The infatuation of some people here, while they endeavour by the most frivolous arguments, to estas blish a right to tax America, in direct violation of this animating principle of their constitution, is to the last degree deplorable. It shall be my endeavours to shew here in a few words, how such a right would be di. rectly fubversive of our constitution, and therefore of our liberties. And here, I shall not enter into the question whether America be in the manor of East Greenwich, (a frivolous equivocation derived from the casual use of this expression in the Massachuseit's charter of King Charles the second) nor yet whether American corn be indigestible or unpalatable, (though I profess I think it exceedingly palatable) because these do not seem to me to be quite periinent to the dispute, and are indeed unworthy refutation or animadversion. The lands in America are as much freehold and derive shat tenure from the same hand, as are the lands of England; and the holders of them, on the same tenure,