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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 692 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FREDERICK NORTH, 2nd earl of Guilford, but better known by his courtesy title of Lord North (1732—1792), prime minister of England during the important years of the American War, was born on the 13th of April 1732, and after being educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, was sent to make the grand tour of the continent. On his return he was, though only twenty-two years of age, at once elected M.P. for Banbury, of which town his father was high steward; and he sat for the same town in parliament for nearly forty years. In 1759 he was chosen by the duke of Newcastle to be a lord of the treasury, and continued in the same office under Lord Bute and George Grenville till 1765. He had shown himself such a ready debater that on the fall of the first Rockingham ministry in 1766 he was sworn of the privy council, and made paymaster-general by the duke of Grafton. His reputation for ability grew so high that in December 1767, on the death of the brilliant Charles Townshend, he was made chancellor of the exchequer. His popularity with both the House of Commons and the people continued to increase, for his temper was never ruffled, and his quiet humour perpetually displayed; and, when the retirement of the duke of Grafton was necessitated by the hatred he inspired and the attacks of Junius, no better successor could be found for the premiership than the chancellor of the exchequer. Lord North succeeded the duke in March 1770, and continued in office for twelve of the most eventful years in English history. George III. had at last overthrown the ascendancy of the great Whig families, under which he had so long groaned, and determined to govern as well as rule. He knew that he could only govern by obtaining a majority in parliament to carry out his wishes, and this he had at last obtained by a great expenditure of money in buying seats and by a careful eltercise of his patronage. But in addition to a majority he must have a minister who would consent to act as his lieutenant, and such a minister he found in Lord North. How a man of undoubted ability such as Lord North was could allow himself to be thus used as a mere instrument cannot be explained; but the confidential tone of the king's letters seems to show that there was an unusual intimacy between them, which may account for North's compliance. The path of the minister in parliament was a hard one; he had co defend measures which he had not designed, and of which he had not approved, and this too in a House of Commons in which all the oratorical ability of Burke and Fox was against him, and when he had only the purchased help of Thurlow and Wedderburne to aid him. The most important events of his ministry were those of the American War of Independence. e cannot be accused of causing it, but one of his first acts was the retention of the tea-duty, and he it was also who introduced the Boston Port Bill in 1774. When the war had broken out he earnestly counselled peace, and it was only the earnest solicitations of the.king not to leave his sovereign again at the mercy of the Whigs that induced him to defend a war which from 1779 river, about 16 m. E. by S. of New Haven. Pop. of the township, including the borough (1900), 2785, of whom 387 were foreign-born; (1910) 3001; pop. of the borough (1910), 16o8. The borough is served by the New York, New Haven & Hartford railroad. On a plain is the borough green of nearly 12 acres, which is shaded by some fine old elms and other trees, and in which there is a soldiers' monument. About the green are several churches and some of the better residences. On an eminence commanding a fine view of the Sound is an old stone house, erected in 1639 for a parsonage, meeting-house and fortification; it was made a state museum in 1898, when extensive alterations were made to restore the interior to its original appearance. The Point of Rocks, in the harbour, is an attractive resort during the summer season. There are about 12 ft. of water on the harbour bar at high tide. The principal industries of Guilford are coastwise trade, the manufacture of iron castings, brass castings, wagon wheels and school furniture, and the canning of vegetables. Near the coast are quarries of fine granite; the stone for the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty on Bedloe's Island, in New York Harbour, was taken from them. Guilford was founded in 1639 as an independent colony by a company of twenty-five or more families from Kent, Surrey and Sussex, England, under the leadership of Rev. Henry Whit-field (1597-1657). While still on shipboard twenty-five members of the company signed a plantation covenant whereby they agreed not to desert the plantation which they were about to establish. Arriving at New Haven early in July 1639, they soon began negotiations with the Indians for the purchase of land, and on the 29th of September a deed was signed by which the Indians conveyed to them the territory between East River and Stony Creek for " 12 coates, 12 Fathoms of Wampam, 12 glasses (mirrors), 12 payer of shooes, 12 Hatchetts, 12 paire of Stockings, 12 Jlooes, 4 kettles, 12 knives, 12 Hatts, 12 Porringers, 12 spoones, and 2 English coates." Other purchases of land from the Indians were made later. Before the close of the year the company removed from New Haven and established the new colony; it was known by the Indian name Menuncatuck for about four years and the name Guilford (from Guildford, England) was then substituted. As a provisional arrangement, civil power for the administration of justice and the preservation of the peace was vested in four persons until such time as a church should be organized. This was postponed until 1643 when considerations of safety demanded that the colony should become a member of the New Haven Jurisdiction, and then only to meet the requirements for admission to this union were the church and church state modelled after those of New Haven. Even then, though suffrage was restricted to church members, Guilford planters who were not church members were required to attend. town meetings and were allowed to offer objections to any proposed order or law. From 1661 until the absorption of the members of the New Haven Jurisdiction by Connecticut, in 1664, William Leete (1611-1683), one of the founders of Guilford, was governor of the Jurisdiction, and under his leader-ship Guilford took a prominent part in furthering the sub-mission to Connecticut, which did away with the church state and the restriction of suffrage to freemen. Guilford was the birthplace of Fitz-Greene Halleck (1790-1867), the poet; of Samuel Johnson (1696-1771), the first president of King's College (now Columbia University); of Abraham Baldwin (1754--1807), prominent as a statesman and the founder of the University of Georgia; and of Thomas Chittenden, the first governor of Vermont. The borough was incorporated in 1815. See B. C. Steiner, A History of the Plantation of Menunca-Tuck and of the Original Town of Guilford, Connecticut (Baltimore, 1897), and Proceedings at the Celebration of the zfoth Anniversary of the Settlement of Guilford, Connecticut (New Haven, 1889).

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