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The Life of General The Hon. James Murray
Chapter XVI. The Government of Quebec, concluded


In the last chapter I have dealt with the effect of the orders imposed on the Governor of Quebec by the successive ministries which dealt with the colonies from 1763 to 1766. Let us now briefly review the intentions contained in those orders and expose the pitiful attempts made to shift the blame of their failure.

The following extract from a report by the Board of Trade, dated October 4, 1763, in obedience to Lord Egremont's orders of the previous July, gives a valuable starting-point:

"And as we conceive that it is Your Majesty's royal intention that the form and constitution of government in these new colonies should be as near as may be similar to what has been established in those colonies which are under Your Majesty's immediate government, we have therefore prepared the commission accordingly."

Lord Hillsborough was at this time President of tlie Board. At approximately the same date Lord Egremont (Secretary of State), who was in close touch with Hillsborough. had written to Murray f (August 13, 1703):

"The necessary commission and instructions for you are preparing by the Board of Trade, and will contain very full directions not only with regard to the form of government but to your conduct in every particular. The condition expressed in the same article (fourth of the Treaty of Paris) must always be remembered, viz. as far as the laws of Great Britain permit, whieh laws prohibit, absolutely all Popish hierarchy, and can only admit a toleration of the exercise of that religion. These laws must be your guide."

In view of these intentions and instructions the limitations placed on the action of the Governor are too obvious to need further comment. Yet on March 6, 1768, Lord Hillsborough wrote to Carleton, who succeeded Murray:

"I had the honour to serve at the Board of Trade in the year 1763, when His Majesty was pleased to publish His Royal Proclamation, and whatever the legal sense conveyed by the words of that Proclamation may be, I certainly know what was the intention ; and I can take upon me to aver that it never entered our idea to overturn the laws and customs of Canada with regard to property. It was most unfortunate that weak, ignorant, and interested men were sent over to carry the Proclamation into execution, who expounded it in the most absurd manner, oppressive and cruel to the last degree, and entirely contrary to the royal intention. The distance of the colony and the differences of opinion occasioned by various causes have prevented as yet the necessary measures being taken to correct this original and fatal mistake."

This letter appears to me to be disingenuous. With the legal sense of a Proclamation drafted by himself, Lord Hillsborough surely should have been well acquainted. With its defects, its difficulties, and its hardships on the Canadians, Murray had repeatedly apprised the Board and been unable to obtain any instructions. With its inteipretation by "weak, ignorant, and interested men," the Government, of which Lord Hillsborough was a member, having appointed these men was alone responsible. The Governor had stated their incapacity in the most emphatic terms:

"The places of the greatest business in the province have been granted by patent to men of interest in England, who have hired them to the best bidder, without considering the talents or circumstances of their representatives."

Finally, as Lord Hillsborough must have well known, property, to which alone he refers, was not the rock on which the Government of Canada split, but religion, laws, and oppression by a military caste uncontrolled by the Governor ; and with regard to all these, the clear and definite orders of the central authority admitted of no misinterpretation and allowed no latitude to the Governor appointed to carry them out.

The only reference to property in the Proclamation ordered that it should be granted on the same terms "as have been appointed and settled in our other colonies, and under such other conditions as shall appear to us to be necessary and expedient for the advantage of the grantees." No other terms or conditions were ever referred to the Governor, though a full report of the French customs had been received from him, and the French customs had been continued until the appointment of law officers with orders to impose English law.

Apart from published documents, such as those just quoted, it is possible to learn a good deal from others which were not finally published in the form originally conceived, and to judge from them the spirit which animated the Board of Trade when dealing with the troubles of their own creation in Canada. The necessity for finding a scapegoat, a necessity common to all weak and confused bureaucracies, is evident from the following, which formed the preamble of a long document prepared by Lord Dartmouth in June, 17G6, intended to be issued by the Privy Council on the amendments necessary to the constitution in Canada:

"Whereas it hath been found upon a mature consideration in our Privy Council of the provisions made for the administration of justice, both civil and criminal, within our province of Quebec, that not only the ordinances enacted and published by you (Governor Murray) for that purpose are ill themselves inadequate and imperfect, but also that the mode of administering justice under them In a language unknown to the native inhabitants of our said province and upon principles inconsistent with their ancient usages and customs, hath created great uneasiness and discontent in the minds of our Canadian subjects there, and whereas it hath been further represented to us that our royal intentions in respect of the form of government and judicature have been misrepresented and misunderstood, and that the said Canadian subjects in consequence of certain unreasonable and unwarrantable constructions put upon our royal proclamation of October 7, 1763, have been excluded not only from, juries of the several courts or being admitted to practice at the Bar. . . ." *

It is sufficient to remark regarding this that the ordinances drawn up by the council of Quebec, under the guidance of the attorney-general appointed from home, were regularly submitted according to law for the approval of His Majesty in council. And if these were inadequate and imperfect, it is remarkable that they were not condemned as such at the time of their issue.

The principal ordinance, that dealing with the creation of Courts of Justice, reached England before the end of 1761, yet no question was raised regarding it for more than a year afterwards.

That the persons selected to preside in the Courts of Justice were ignorant of the French language was a misfortune which the Governor had already pointed out to the ministers, and that the principles upon which the laws were administered were opposed to the ancient usages of the French, arose of course from the base note of the Proclamation, which ordered that the laws, statutes, and ordinances should be as near as may be agreeable to the laws of England, and the lawyers sent from England to administer these were acquainted with English laws only.

It is hardly necessary to deal further with a document conceived in such a petty spirit of ignorance and rancour. Fortunately, before it could come before the Privy Council the Rockingham Government had ceased to exist, and in August, 1767, the Lords of the Committee of the Privy Council; having taken the proposed "draught of instructions" into their consideration, were of opinion the Lords of the committee decided to take no action but to refer the proposed reforms for opinion of the law officers in Canada.

"that the same is so general and so unsupported by any specific or particular proof of any grievances in the judicature to which any particular and effectual reform or remedy can be applied (except what has already been done),3 and especially since the return of Governor Murray no governor or locum tenens or any of Your Majesty's law officers have represented in this connection any grievances (which they would have done if any existed) . . . "

One of the principal objections raised in England by the ministers, to the justice dealt out in Canada, was the action taken by an ordinance which decreed that juries might be summoned from the province at large, for at the time it was strongly suspected that an unbiassed jury could not be obtained in Montreal alone. The Board of Trade held this to be illegal, but the action of the Governor and his council was fully justified on a reference to the law officers, who were of opinion " that the Governor of Quebec is fully authorised and impowered by his commission and instructions to appoint Courts of Oyer and Terminer within all the districts of that province." § When Governor Carleton, having reversed this ordinance, attempted to hold the fresh trial of the Walker case by a Montreal jury, he found good reason to understand the wisdom of Murray's action.

It was unfortunately not given to Murray to see the effects of his efforts. Lord Halifax had curtly informed him that the separate militarv control, which, as we have seen, was productive of such serious disorders, must continue, yet his successor, Carleton, arrived with full military powers and the rank of brigadier commanding the troops in Canada, and the address of welcome presented to him by the council congratulated him on " the military command united to the civil in your person," while the inhabitants of the city and district of Quebec congratulated him on taking up " the chief command of this province, the military as well as civil." These two extracts being sufficient to show the importance attached to the subject by the people concerned, and to emphasize the disability under which Governor Murray was forced to suffer.

The exclusion of Catholics from the courts had been a frequent theme of Murray's letters. It was on the very day of his departure that the revised instructions, permitting Catholics to practice in the courts and to serve on juries, was received in Canada.4 Even in this case the attempt was made to transfer the onus of blame for the narrow spirit of the original instructions.

The incapacity of the chief justice and several other officials had been reported by the Governor without effeet for two years, but his successor was fortunate in commencing his career with men in the chief positions of the law of very different capacity to those first appointed. In February, 1766, Messrs. Gregory and Suckling were dismissed by the royal command, and William Hey appointed as Chief Justice, and Francis Mascres as Attorney-General. The latter, at least, was of exceptional ability, and the Chief Justiee was of respectable talents.

Early in 1766 Francis Maseres had submitted a memorandum on the expediency of procuring an Act of Parliament for the settlement of the province of Quebec, which is distinguishable by its moderate tone and breadth of view from the intemperate writings of the responsible ministers:

"The difficulties that have arisen in the Government of the province of Quebec, and which are likely still to occur in it, notwithstanding the best intentions of those who are instructed by His Majesty with the administration of affairs there, arc so many and so great that the officers whom His Majesty has been pleased of late to nominate to the principal departments of that Government cannot look upon them without great uneasiness and apprehension and despair of being able to overcome them without the assistance of an Act of Parliament to ground and justify their proceedings. Two nations are to be kept m peace and harmony, and moulded as it were into one, that are at present of opposite religions, ignorant of each others language, and inclined in their affections to different systems of laws."

He then goes on to point out that the Governor's commission, empowering him to call a general assembly, in reality aggravated the animosity between the old and the new subjects:

"For it is expressly provided that no person elected to serve in such an assembly shall sit and vote there till he has subscribed the declaration against Popery prescribed by the Statute 23 Car. 2. Which would effectually exclude all Canadians "

This plain statement of facts contradicted very directly the attempt made by Lords Hillsborough and Dartmouth to lay the blame of misinterpretation of the commission on the Governor and his advisors. Maseres brings out in the clearest way the necessity for toleration of the Catholic religion, not only in the form of worship, but also in the practical sense of allowing the adherents of this religion equal rights in all respects with their fellow subjects.

Regarding the settlement of the pregnant question of laws he advocated an Act of Parliament, delegating to the Governor and council the power to make laws founded on the basis of including such part of the French code as they should find suitable, and thus substituting the authority of the King and Parliament for the royal and absolute government which existed in the first proclamation.

"The doctrine of the instant validity of the whole mass of the laws of England throughout the conquered province cannot be true. And if the whole system of those laws is not valid there, then certainly no part of them can be so. For if they are, then who shall distinguish which of them are valid and which are not." Thus he says, "The Parliament only have a power to make laws . . . notwithstanding that such a power may inadvertently have been delegated by a private instruction of the King alone."

He next refers to the low state of the revenue, and touches on the dangerous subject of imposing a tax to make up the deficiency of the official salaries, which, he says, would be properly imposed by Parliament. In this connection some interesting and instructive remarks are made. Referring to the recent taxation troubles in the American colonies:

"The other American colonies have internal legislatures of their own, who have been permitted ever since their first establishment to be the assessors of all their internal taxes ; and as they had not abused this privilege with which they had been so long indulged, and further, as their exercising this privilege seemed to be in no way prejudicial to the 31 other Country, it seems to have been a harsh and ungracious measure in the Parliament, by the advice of the late minister, to revive and exert a dormant and inherent right of taxing them. . . . But the Canadians have no such internal legislature, no such usuage of taxing themselves by representatives of their own choosing. Unless, therefore, they have the singular privilege of not being liable to be taxed at all, they must be liable to be taxed either by the King alone or by the King and Parliament. As to the erecting an assembly in that province, it is a measure which probably for some years will not be found expedient."

And he goes on to point out that if the qualifications as regards Popery are maintained :

"An assembly so constituted might pretend to be a representative of the people there, but in truth it would be representative of only the 000 new English settlers, and an instrument in their hands of domineering over the 90,000 French. ..."

The decision is mentioned above of the Lords of the Committee of the Privy Council to refer Lord Dartmouth's proposals for amendment in the system of judicature to the Governor and his legal advisers for opinion. By the tenor of the instructions the Governor, the Chief Justice, and the Canadian Attorney-General, were to advise on the subjects referred, and the sequel was remarkable. A draught reply was prepared, evidently by Francis Maseres, which Carleton refused to approve of. The document is given in full in Short and Doughty's work on the Constitutional Documents of Canada; but Maseres' views, supported by clear and logical argument, were so complete a vindication of Murray's policy and so stultified the action of those ministers who had sought to condemn him, that I greatly regret its length prohibits reproduction here.

It is a frank document, the sole work of Francis Maseres, and it does honour to his independence and honesty. It confounds at once the factious and petty spirits of Lords Dartmouth and Hillsborough, who would have laid on Murray's shoulders the burden of the careless ignorance with which the original constitutional documents were drawn up. In this connection at a later date (] 774) the Advocate-General of England remarked:

"It should seem as if this Proclamation {i.e. that relating to Canada) had been copied inadvertently, and in the hurry of office, from some former Proclamation relative to Nova Scotia or some other unsettled British colony, and that the reflection never entered the thoughts of the drawers up of this Proclamation that Canada was a conquered province, full of inhabitants and already in the possession of a legal establishment."

The whole of Maseres' document is a scathing indictment of the responsible ministers, and in some parts might almost serve for a Junius letter of admonition to the King. It was certainly a triumphant vindication of Murray's action, though strangely enough no mention is made of that part of the ordinance issued on his responsibility, which permitted Canadian advocates to practice in the Courts of Common Pleas, and thus forestalled a part of the reform recommended.

It is, nevertheless, quite certain that Carleton was not the man to forward such a report, and we are informed that:

"The foregoing draught of a report, which was prepared by Francis Maseres, Esquire, his Majesty's Attorney-General of the province of Quebec, by order of Guy Carleton, Esquire, the Governor of the said province, was delivered in to the said Governor on the 27th day of February, 1769, but had not the good fortune to be approved by his excellency. Another report was therefore drawn up by other hands agreeable to the Governor's sentiments, in which his Excellency has omitted the consideration of all public acts and instruments, whereby the English law has been introduced, or attempted to be introduced, into that province, together with some other matters contained in the foregoing report. . . ."

It would be tedious, and for the purposes of this work unnecessary, to follow further the long debate on the proposals to amend the constitution of Canada, which in its original conception has been shown to have lacked almost every element of statesmanship and forethought. This debate constantly varied in the view taken, dependent principally whether the exponents, as Hillsborough and Dartmouth had a share in the original responsibility, or whether fresh and independent minds as Maseres and Marriott, Wedderburn or Thurloe were in possession. It suffices from my point of view to make it clear that in all that followed, culminating in the passing of the Quebec Act of 1771, the advice and opinions given by Murray during his tenure of Governorship very largely found place in the. new constitution. The territories formerly excluded by Lord Shelburne were now included in the "Province of Quebec," and not only this, but a vast additional area was added, showing how completely the old views had changed. A frank admission of the unsuitable nature of the early constitution was made, and it was declared as a result of experience " to be inapplicable to the state and circumstance of the said province, the inhabitants whereof amounted at the conquest to above sixty-five thousand persons professing the religion of the Church of Rome." From which it would almost appear that the frequent references to the vast preponderance of the French population, which so often occurred in Murray's letters, had but recently sunk into the minds of the ministers; the Romish clergy were permitted to demand their accustomed dues and rights; the oath of supremacy was abolished, and an oath of allegiance, not repugnant to the Catholic conscience, was substituted; property to be held in accordance with the laws of Canada; the English criminal law, which was held as more lenient than that of the French, to be maintained; a council, without religious hindrance as to election, to control the affairs of the province, subject to the consent of the Governor, but without the power of taxation. Thus the decision of Murray that the province was not yet ripe for representative government was upheld. Against this Lord Chatham had entered a warm protest. He styled it:

"A most cruel, oppressive, and odious measure, tearing up justice and every good principle by the roots. . . . The merely supposing that the Canadians would not be able to feel the good effects of law and freedom, because they had been used to arbitrary power, was an idea as ridiculous as false. . . ."

But Chatham was wrong, for the Canadians set no store by representative government, the movement to this end was entirely on the part of the new settlers ; as Murray had pointed out, the Canadians desired full religious liberty and permanent rights of property under their ancient charters, and both these were conceded and sufficed for the time. With the British traders and settlers, however, it was otherwise, and they had, or at least pretended to have, a grievance that the promise of representative government was withheld.

The King's ministers of the mid-eighteenth century appear to have been dogged by a fatal inability to view their measures with that degree of detachment from personal prejudice which could alone create enduring provisions. It was not that sound advice was lacking, but it did not suffice to keep them from extreme views, which, in their want of stability, possessed an additional fault. Leaving out of question the Acts relating to the American colonies, the passings, repealings, repressions, conciliations, with which this book is little concerned, we have in the Acts relating to Canada a concrete example sufficient to prove the case. In 1763-64 measures designed to place the power unreservedly in the hands of the British settlers, in 1773 -74 measures designed to do precisely the reverse. Between these two, experienced men, like Murray and Maseres, urging a happy medium, and their advice falling on deaf ears. One of them, Maseres, driven to perhaps too warm an espousal of the cause of the traders ; the other driven from office for refusing to allow the French Canadians to be destroyed. The Quebec Act contained much that Murray had striven for; but had his advice been followed and an equitable weighing of French and English codes been decreed, that unfortunate cleavage between the French and English settlers which exists to this day would long since have been healed. When, in 1774, the Quebec Act was in its final stages in the House of Commons, undergoing violent, ill-considered attack from one party and equally ill-considered support from the other, it was moved that General Murray should be called as a witness. Lord North objected, for it was known that his opinions agreed in many respects with those of Masseres, who had already been examined, and the Government feared the effect that such an opinion, given by a man of Murray's intimate experience, would have on the House.5 A few months later Dartmouth, the former supporter of the British minority in Canada, was condemning the movement for the repeal of the Act, as the unreasonable desire of the few to destroy the happiness of 100,000 French Canadians!

The name of Governor Carleton is probably much more generally connected with this enlargement of the liberties of the Canadian subjects than is that of James Murray. Certainly this is the case among English subjects; but I think I am justified in stating that the French Canadians recognise, in the efforts of the latter, the true origin of their Magna Charta. He had more than once urged the necessity of framing more solid instructions for government,^ and it was a result of his initiation that the matter was first considered by the chancellor, Lord Northington, who entirely disapproved of the views on the subject expressed by the government-attorney and solicitor-general. It is the case that the fall of the Rockingham Ministry, which had shown itself so unjust in its action regarding Canadian affairs, was brought about by this very matt er of which the initiation may be fairly held to be due to Murray. The incident is referred to in Campbell's life of Lord Northing-ton. It appears that after his condemnation of the procedure proposed, the Cabinet, without consulting him. decided on sending the papers to Carleton for report (July, 1700). When Northington heard of this action of the Cabinet, it is said he remarked, " By God, they shall never meet again," and going straight to the King recommended him to send for Mr. Pitt. His Majesty, glad of an excuse to get, rid of the Ministry that had repealed the Stamp Act against his wishes, was ready to accede. Probably Murray knew nothing of this. It would Lave been a sweet revenge if he had !

We have seen the reiterated statements of the necessity for removing the religious disabilities made by Murray, and his consistent efforts to checkmate the usurpatory endeavours of the mercantile community of old subjects, and it is remarkable bow completely his foresight enabled him to gauge a state of affairs which, after ten years, was crystallised by the Act. It is also curious to note that the same .British traders, led by our former acquaintance, Mr. Thomas Walker, displayed the same turbulence in 1774 as in 1764, and one wonders whether Lord Dartmouth, on receipt of Carleton's letter of November 11, 1774, stating that this man was now taking the lead, apparently in seditious communication with the illegal congress of the United colonies, in opposing the new measures, remembered the offensive letter to Murray of March 27, 1766, ordering his immediate restoration as a justice of the peace {see p. 347).

Carleton was in truth a politician, and as such had the advantage of Murray, whose blunt independence secured for him little support from the King's ministers. It was enough for Murray to believe that his honour and justice required a certain line of conduct, and he was indifferent whether the politics of the hour in London lent countenance to his action or not. Carleton, on the other hand, may have conceived his duties in a different sense; let us give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he argued that he was a representative of the King to carry out the wishes of the King's Government. Thus when the " good " Lord Dartmouth positively ordered further prosecution of the Walker fiasco, in order to placate the British traders, Carleton and his fidus Achates, the chief justice, lent themselves with vigour to the scheme, and on the doubtful evidence of a discharged soldier arrested six gentlemen, all friends of Murray, on a trumped-up charge of being concerned in the attack on Walker. Fortunately, as Murray predicted, the grand jury selected in Montreal would have nothing to do with evidence produced by so untrustworthy a person as Walker, and refused to bring a bill against the accused, and the whole affair fizzled out miserably with threats of a charge of perjury against Walker. Nevertheless Carleton found opportunity to dismiss Colonel Irvine and Surgeon Mabane from their seats on the council, ostensibly, at all events, because they had headed a deputation to secure bail for the accused in this ridiculous trial. Actually, I am afraid, this indignity was inflicted because they were Murray's friends and nominees.

Again, when the policy at home favoured conciliation of the Canadians and a repudiation of the promises to the British settlers, Carleton is the subservient instrument of the Ministry for the introduction of the Quebec, Act, and is ready to throw over his former friend Maseres, whom he reasonably suspected of strong leanings towards a much wider view than that which met approval at Westminster.

It is impossible to peruse the voluminous records without concluding that Carleton was anxious to make favour with the ministers who had appointed him, by placing Murray's actions in the least favourable light. It is not necessary to refer to this in detail except regarding one action, which drew forth a spirited protest from the Governor, who at the time was still, at least nominally, in chief charge of the province. The occasion was an ordinance published by Carleton, couched in what reads as very pharisaical language, and to this Murray replied publicly in a signed letter to Lloyd's Evening Post, of January 2-5, 1767.

"Sir,—In your paper of the 26th ult. I saw a paragraph, the consequence of an advertisement inserted in the Quebec Gazette, November 7th, 1766, in the following words:

"Whereas the numerous fees which the inhabitants of this province have been obliged to pay have been found very burthensomc and inconvenient to the said inhabitants in the low and distressed condition to which many of them have been reduced by the late wars, the public is hereby given to understand that Lieut.-Governor Carleton has resolved to release and relinquish during the tune he shall continue in the government of the province, and doth hereby release and relinquish all the fees that may be due to himself by virtue of the commission or powers with which it has pleased His Majesty to invest him, excepting only the fees due from vintners and other publicans for licenses to keep public-houses, which fees shall continue to be paid. And the said Lieut.-Governor further declares that the money arising from these fees last mentioned shall not be appropriated to his private use, but shall be paid into the hands of the Receiver-General of His Majesty's Revenue in this province and considered as a part of the revenue and accounted for accordingly.

"Every person who reads the above advertisement must draw from it two conclusions : first, that the fees established in the province of Quebec were burthensome and oppressive; secondly, that these fees had yielded a considerable revenue, and in particular that the fees levied upon vintners had formerly been applied not to the public use but to that of the Governor.

"Upon this supposition the above advertisement would no doubt reflect honour upon Lieut.-Governor Carleton, and mark at the same time the Governor with blame and reproach.

"It has never been, nor ever shall be, my practice to take notice of anonymous abuse; but where anything is signed which may be construed an imputation on my conduct, I shall always think it my duty to give a fair account of the matter to my country, and I desire nothing more earnestly than that every particular of it may be canvassed to the bottom, as I flatter myself the strictest scrutiny will do me honour. (Here follows a list of eleven fees known as Governor's fees.)

The above is a list of all the fees the Governor of Quebec can claim, and it is to be remarked that little can arise from the patents for lands, as all the valuable lands in the province were granted before the conquest by us. That as little can arise from the licenses of marriage, letters of administration, probate of wills, and licenses to purchase lands of the Indians. There are not, perhaps, 400 English families in the province. The Canadians take no licenses for marriage, make no wills that are subject to Governor's fees, have no need for letters of administration, nor is it allowed to purchase lands of the Indians, and as not more than thirty ships in one year come from Europe, very few from the other colonies, and rarely above two or three from the West Indies, the navigation being shut up six months a year, the great revenue to the Governor must proceed from certificates to go beyond the seas.

"Had I taken fees for these certificates the amount must have been very considerable, not less than £4000, as the Canadians were obliged to send them to France relative to their paper money and other affairs which were very numerous, but I never took myself, nor permitted my secretary to take, any fees from any man on any account whatever during the military government, whieh lasted five years, and the amount of all the fees I have taken since the establishment of civil government does not exceed £65 sterling.

"The fees for licensing public-houses for two years last past amounted to about £450 sterling, and the ordinance published November 3, 1764, which established the said fees, declares and enacts that they are to be appropriated to the public use and accounted for as part of the revenue to the Government.

"This being a true state of the case, the public may judge of the propriety of Lieut.-Governor Carleton's advertisement above recited.—Signed, James Murray, Governor of the Province of Quebec.

Carleton's reputation would have stood higher if he had avoided this and other methods of traducing his predecessor. It is a method not infrequently exercised by-people of small minds to endeavour to influence careless superiors by sneers at alleged shortcomings of predecessors in office, and such a method is the more reprehensible that those traduced are seldom in a position to hear of the allegations, or to refute them. Carleton and Murray had been in antagonism daring the Quebec campaign, but I rejoice to think that in Murray there was no sign of that petty spirit that would seek to gain a secret advantage, even in such a ease as his virtual supersession by a man he did not like. Murray's reply to the address of farewell from his council, already referred to, shows the high standard of honour at which he aimed :

"At leaving a country I sincerely love, it gives me pleasure to inform you, from my personal knowledge of the gentleman His Majesty has appointed lieutenant-governor, that he is disposed and qualified to render the province happy. I am sure he will find the same assistance from you which I have met with, and hope his Government will not be disturbed by resentments against the authors of the unjust calumnies which have been raised against me."

It is not possible to read Carleton's letters and despatches without recognising that he was a good soldier and a firm, if arbitrary, ruler. I doubt if he ever commanded the sympathy of the Canadians in the same sense that Murray did, but he followed him in his conciliatory method of dealing with them. To Barre, Lord Shelburne, and Lord Chatham (whose eldest son was consigned to his care at a later date in Canada) he probably owed much, but he was without early interest and pushed his way on his own merit, doing well for his country. Had he given credit to the self-sacrificing efforts of his predecessor, on which his own fortunes were built, the future Lord Dorchester would surely have gained further honour.

It is incontestable that Murray had acquired an extraordinary influence with the Canadians. With the quickness of perception, due to their French origin, they had grasped the fact of the Governor's genuine sympathy, and there is no doubt in the troubled time yet to come they would have rallied around him to a man. In February , 1766, shortly after his departure, he was able to write to Conway, then Secretary of State, referring to the Stamp Act: "His Majesty's subjects in this province have not followed the example of the neighbouring colonies, but have cheerfully submitted to the authority of the British Legislature." In August of the same year, after his return to England, he wrote to Lord Shelburne:

"As the council books of the province and likewise my answer to the complaint made against my administration have been laid before your lordship, it is needless, I presume, to say anything further on that subject than that I glory in having been accused of warmth and firmness in protecting the King's Canadian subjects, and of doing the utmost in my power to gain to my royal master the affection of that brave, hardy people, whose emigration, if ever it should happen, will be an irreparable loss to this empire, to prevent which I declare to your lordship I would cheerfully submit to greater calamities and indignities, if greater can be devised, than hitherto I have undergone."

With this expression of his sentiments I will quit this part of the subject, trusting that I have shown that Murray was sacrificed to the whim of an unstable and narrow-minded political caucus, who were quite unfitted to see the wisdom of his policy or to supprt him in his vigorous efforts to lay a sure foundation for what has now become the greatest dominion of the British Crown. As he said himself:

"I am persuaded I shall, unheard, be made a sacrifice of, to convince the mob, that the present administration have no connection with Lord Bute. ... If the uprightness of my conduct will not justify me, why should I trouble my friends ? If the times are so corrupt that virtue must retire, I choose to enjoy their caresses n a private corner. So here I impatiently wait a dismission which will do me honour or a justification which will confound my enemies, those of His Majesty's government and of human society."

His government and his efforts can claim, at the least, the preservation of the Canadian population, the abolition of religious disability, and the grant of laws of inheritance acceptable to the vast majority of the people, and finally that measure of trust and subordination of the Canadians which went far to retain the province for England, and which might, under better support from home, have even preserved America from the War of Independence.


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