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Robert Mason went away a thoroughly disheartened man. He had evidently thought, when the new government for New Hampshire was about to go into operation, that the object for which he had so long and so assiduously labored was about to be accomplished, and that under this government he might render available his claim to the province. Buoyant with hope, he had come hither to assert his claim, not doubting that it would be admitted, and the people become his tenants, by taking leases of the houses which they had themselves built and the lands which they had so long occupied. From the rents accruing, he had anticipated a golden harvest. But his sanguine expectations had not been realized. A few months' residence among the people had taught him that they would not willingly become his vassals, nor tamely surrender the rights, which they claimed as proprietors of the soil, and owners in fee of the property in their possession. The experience of a few meetings at the council board had convinced him that the members of the board entertained the same views and feelings as the people, and that from them he could not expect any special favor. In a word, he despaired of realizing any substantial benefit from his claims, unless the government should pass into other hands. Therefore a new task was now before him: another change in the government must be brought about. This he undertook to effect, and by an agreement to divide the spoils with the king, he succeeded. In short, he was allowed to make his own selection for governor, and to have conferred upon him most arbitrary powers.

Edward Cranfield, a man as unprincipled and as greedy of gain as the king himself, for a valuable consideration, consented to become Mason's tool; and, armed with his governor's commission, he arrived in Portsmouth on the 4th of October, 1682, and at once entered upon that course which has made his name odious to this day. The commission authorized him "to call, adjourn, prorogue and dissolve, general courts; to have a negative voice in all acts of government; to suspend any of the council, when he should see just cause; to appoint a deputy-governor, judges, justices, and other officers, by his sole authority; and to execute the powers of vice-admiral." Mason and seven others of the former council were reappointed, while Mr. Hussey and the younger Waldron were dropped, and Walter Barefoote and Richard Chamberlain appointed in their places. Before a week had passed, however, two members of the council were suspended; and soon after, an assembly was called, which met on the 14th of November. The members from Hampton were Edward Gove and two others, now unknown. On the first day of the assembly, Cranfield restored the suspended members; and thereupon, the assembly, hoping to detach him from Mason, voted him a gratuity of two hundred fifty pounds. This the governor readily accepted, and on the 1st of December ordered an adjournment.

The assembly met again on the second week in the next month, when there was found to be an entire want of harmony between them and the governor; and after some altercation--they refusing to pass a bill recommended by him, and he to sign some bills passed by them--he dissolved the assembly after a session of less than two weeks. This act of Cranfield's, though allowed by his commission, was without precedent in New Hampshire, and repugnant to the feelings, not only of the deputies, but of the people generally, who regarded it as an arbitrary act, and an unwarrantable abuse of power.

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