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At the restoration of Charles II to the throne of England, in 1660, Robert Mason preferred a petition to the king, in which he complained of "the encroachment of the Massachusetts Colony upon his lands, their making rents and giving titles to the inhabitants, thereby dispossessing him and keeping him out of his right;" and he prayed that his grievances might be redressed. The king referred the petition to the attorney-general for his opinion, who reported that "Robert Mason, grandson and heir to Captain John Mason, had a good and legal title to the Province of New Hampshire." It does not appear, however, that any measures were then taken to put Mason in possession of the lands which he claimed.


But other complaints than those of Mason had reached the royal ear--disputes among some of the New England colonies about their boundaries and jurisdiction, and petitions and addresses, entreating him to interpose the royal authority to settle them. The king at length appointed commissioners to visit the several colonies, "examine and determine all complaints and appeals, in matters civil, military, and criminal; provide for the peace and security of the country, according to their good and sound discretion, and to such instructions as they should receive from the king, and to certify him of their proceedings." This was in April 1664.

In the southern colonies of New England the commissioners were treated with much respect; but in Massachusetts they were received with great coolness, since the good and sound discretion of the commissioners was placed above the laws, and in their proceedings they were to be governed by this alone, except so far as they might receive instruction from the king.

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