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The king now announced to Ministers his fixed resolve to call in another Cabinet, though the Whigs had endeavoured to keep office by dropping the Bill, and on the 25th of March they delivered to the king their seals of office. Erskine alone retained his for a week, that he might pronounce his decrees on the Chancery suits which had been heard by him; and two days before he parted with the Seal, he took the opportunity to make his son-in-law, Edmund Morris, a Master in Chancery. This was regarded as a most singular act, Erskine being no longer bona fide Chancellor, but only holding the Seal for a few days after the resignation of his colleagues, to complete necessary business. The House adjourned to the 8th of April, and before this day arrived the new appointments were announced. They werethe Duke of Portland, First Lord of the Treasury; Lord Hawkesbury, Secretary of the Home Department; Canning, Secretary for Foreign Affairs; Lord Castlereagh, Secretary for War and the Colonies; the Earl of Chatham, Master of the Ordnance; Spencer Perceval, Chancellor and Under-Treasurer of the Exchequer; Lord Camden, Lord President of the Council; Lord Bathurst, President of the Board of Trade, with George Rose as Vice-President; the Earl of Westmoreland, Keeper of the Privy Seal; Lord Eldon, Lord Chancellor; and the Duke of Richmond, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. As the Duke of Portland's health was bad, the real Prime Minister was Mr. Perceval.
Several portraits of Laval are extant. A drooping nose of portentous size; a well-formed forehead; a brow strongly arched; a bright, clear eye; scanty hair, half hidden by a black skullcap; thin lips, compressed and rigid, betraying a spirit not easy to move or convince; features of that indescribable cast which marks the priestly type: such is Laval, as he looks grimly down on us from the dingy canvas of two centuries ago.
The bishops success at court was triumphant. Not only did he procure the removal of Avaugour, but he was invited to choose a new governor to replace him. * This was not all; for he succeeded in effecting a complete change in the government of the colony. The Company of New France was called upon to resign its claims; ** and, by a royal edict of April, 1663, all power, legislative, judicial, and executive, was vested in a council composed of the governor whom Laval had chosen, of Laval himself, and of five councillors, an attorney-general, and a secretary, to be chosen by Laval and the governor jointly. *** Bearing with them blank
[Pg 192]The seignior was usually the immediate vassal of the Crown, from which he had received his land gratuitously. In a few cases, he made grants to other seigniors inferior in the feudal scale, and they, his vassals, granted in turn to their vassals, the habitants or cultivators of the soil. ** Sometimes