The Virginia governors were responsible for signing the headrights, surveys, and land patents. The governor received instructions from London, and his actions were overseen by the Privy Council that advised the King. Legislation passed by the House of Burgesses was not officially enacted until the king had confirmed it. This provided a system of checks and balances that limited the potential of the king's representative becoming too closely allied with the interests of the colony rather than the king - and the speculators who organized land companies to obtain large grants of land in the mid-eighteenth century had to obtain confirmation of their rights in England.
The Virginia gentry objected not only to the fee, but also to the idea that an appointed royal official could impose it without approval by the elected members of the House of Burgesses. The House sent the Attorney General of the colony, Peyton Randolph, to England to lobby against the fee. Dunmore relented, but refused to allow an appropriation by the House of £2,500 to reimburse Randolph for his expenses. A power struggle between the governor and the legislature over the pistole fee illustrates that "no taxation without representation" was a serious issue 10 years before the Stamp Act crisis and 20 years before the American Revolution.