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In Their Own Words

March 03, 1732

Frustration over Lack of Charter Signing

Supporters of the Georgia charter were frustrated over King George II’s continuing refusal to sign the charter that had been approved by the Privy Council, as noted by the entry in the diary of Sir John Percival (later Earl of Egmont):

“This morning I visited Mr. Horace Walpole [brother of prime minister Robert Walpole]. I told him of the stop that is made of the Carolina grant [i.e., the proposed charter to create Georgia from South Carolina]; that we apprehended there was still a distrust that we sought our private advantage in it, whereas we had no view but serving the public, and I did not know how we came to be such knight-errants. I gave him substantial reasons why we could not depart from the purport of the charter as it now stands, particularly the point the King objects to, namely the Governor of Carolina’s naming the inferior officers of the Militia, and that it would be good to tell us soon whether the King is resolved not to pass it without that alteration, that we might return the money we made of the Government Lottery tickets, being resolved not to accept the charter with that alteration. He replied that he knew not one of the Ministry who were against the charter, but that was the King’s own objection, he being jealous of his prerogative, but he hoped it would be got over and believed it, that he thought we could make no private advantage of the design, the guards are so strong against it by the charter, though indeed they did think so at first. I said I understood the King could not alter the charter, it having passed the [Privy] Council, where he was present; he replied, ‘Yes, the King might by referring it back to be considered in Council.’ … “

Source: U.K. Historical Manuscripts Commission, Diary of the First Earl of Egmont (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1923), Vol. II, p. 232.