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rity of the nation. Suppose the kingdom under a state of infancy, or frenzy, the safety of the government is in the unanimous opinion of the nation. It is not hard to say, that the parliament must provide for the administration of the government, but to call this a direct forfeiture of the Crown!' I will not excuse the the king, and say he can do no wrong; but would avoid all doubts, and not say, in real common parliamentary construction, that the king can do no wrong, or that he has forfeited his crown by male-administration. But suppose it the case of a lunatic, or infant, the nation may provide for the government; and were the king a person that took care of the government that he ought to have taken care of
Serj. Maynard. The difference is but in | words: I will speak to the last only. I am not of opinion that the king, being a Papist, has made himself incapable of the crown.
Mr. Finch. You have had variety of motions, and have well collected them. Give me leave to examine the motions; and I ask pardon if I differ in some things. It is moved, that, by acts done by the king, he has lost his crown that way; by going away, he has abdicated the crown, and made a total refusal of the government. It is moved to vary the state of the question, and only for the present to declare the Throne vacated. What question, in point of law, there is between demised, abdicated, and deserted,' the consequence can be but one and the same: if it be meant vacancy in the Throne,' and you must fill it, and that it is devolved upon the people, that is, I believe, farther than gentlemen would go: I believe no body will urge that so far, the constitution of the kingdom and government not admitting it. If we were in the state of nature, we should have little title to any of our estates. That the king has lost his title to the crown, and lost his inheritance, is farther than any gentleman, I believe, has, or will explain himself. The provision you will make will be but little acceptable to such a foundation. The consequence is but this; since the monarchy is hereditary, be it vacated, or whatever you will call it, the descent is the consequence of all. No man will say the monarchy is elective, let the administration be ever so ill, and that the king has no more in the monarchy than the exercise of it. If by neglect, or male-administration, he can forfeit no more than is in him, then this consequence is no more, than that his personal exercise of the crown is gone; but still it must subsist somewhere. This is of the highest consequence that ever any debate was here, for Law and Religion to be established sure and firm. However we may weather it,that the king has his crown by divine right,' posterity may curse our memory in after-ages, and we (the people) have divine right too; but if we fail in this weighty matter. What to he can forfeit, if he break that pact and covepropose is difficult. I will not go about to say nant with his people, who have right, by reason that what the king has done is any way justifi- of their election, as well as in the name of Mr. able. Here has been an actual invasion of our King. This original of power, resistance or Religion and Properties, when they did get non-resistance, is judged by the power resolved men in to give up the whole rights of the king- by people and king. The constitution of the dom. These are things of a high nature, and government is actually grounded upon pact and call for your timely assistance. Consider the covenant with the people. If this be so, what dificulty that will arise in the consequence, remains but that the king has made abdication to say, that the king has made a total renun- of the government, and at one time has lopped ciation of the kingdom. That the king may off both Church and State? Could he have renounce, all agree, that such renunciation compassed Liberty of Conscience, he would must be voluntary and public; and whether have cut off Church and State at one stroke, such desertion be an abdication? If he has lost and settled Popery. Here has not been one it, the monarchy will either be hereditary or thing unattempted to destroy us: and if this elective, and here will be consequences. I am be so, it is my opinion that there is an abdicanot of opinion that you should send proposals tion of the government, and it is devolved into to the king; it will not consist with the secu the people, who are here in civil society and constitution to save them. And if divine right does consecrate all these violations of our laws, it is strange! If the king be of another religion from his people, and makes a combination with a foreign power, shall he carry all away
Sir Rob. Howard. I differ in the circumstances of what has been said, though I agree in the main. There is an inconvenience in resting upon the word demise.' Richard ii. would have no laws but what were in his own breast; but our king would not be satisfied with arbitrary government in the laws temporal, but in the laws of the church too, thereby to influence our souls as well as our bodies; and, by an arbitrary government, to subvert the civil and ecclesiastical power; and it was no wonder, when a Jesuit and Papist sat in council, that all corporations were subverted, and parliament-men closeted. This was the design of Rd. ii. to try sheriffs, to pack a parliament, to make the people own their destroyers. But if the demise of the government fail, where is the foundation we are upon? It must be somewhere. By a legal and just trial, no man has wrong done him. The king has none done him, in disposing of the government, for he acts as a private man, he ought to act from his laws. When he acts by his will, and not by the laws, he is no king; for he acts by power and tyranny. I have heard,
Second son to the earl of Nottingham, and removed from being Solicitor General in 1686. In 1702 he was created lord Guernsey, and in 1714 earl of Aylesford.
with him to destroy us? I am of opinion, that | the government be fallen to the people, which James 2. has abdicated the government.' people we are, what do the lords and we here? If it be devolved upon the people, we have nothing to do here; we are not the people collectively we are representatives of the people in the three estates of the nation, and the king. And our oaths of allegiance, which we take before we sit, are to the hereditary succession of the crown; the third estate, which is the house of commons, represents the freeholders and burghers, who are not the fourth part of the kingdom. If the government be devolved to the people, copy-holders, leaseholders, all men under 40s. a year are people. What needs the advice of the lords to reduce things to a settlement? Is it not then the right of all the people to send representatives, and our sitting under this frame of government is void, as we ought not to be here, so it restores not the rights of the kingdom. Restore those rights by what free parliament we can, in such a form, and frame, and constitution as the government will admit. What do the lords there? Are they representatives of the people? No; of their own estate only. IIf the government be devolved upon the people, what do the lords there? And we are not the people. Once a government did dispose of crowns. And they were not the fourth part of the kingdom that disposed of the crown in 1648. This has not only relation to ourselves, but to another nation, Scotland. If we proceed on a sandy foundation, we shall destroy all we do. The people have a judgment of assent or dissent, but not a superiority of determination. If he relinquish the possession of the throne, but not the title, whether does that amount to an abdication of the government? I take the king's departure out of the kingdom to be an abdication of the government. He refuses to govern, that acts otherwise than the in-laws direct. And he that will go out of the kingdom, does make an abdication and direliction of the whole government. In all I have read, I never met, in so short a reign, the laws so violated, and the prerogative so stretched. In his Declaration, he wishes that all his subjects were Catholics, and, if in his power, would certainly have effected it; we must all have been Catholics, or not safe. The Church and State were turned topsy
Sir Rob. Sawyer. The gentleman that first moved in this debate, put it upon a demise.' 'Devolution' and abdication' seem to be the same thing called by various authors. You have been moved for other words, and in case of abdication,' it is not difficult. As to the next step, there is a great difference between the throne being vacant by abdication, and dis-turvy. As to his suborning a parliament, this solution of the government. The vacancy of and Rd. 2. are the only instances I have met the throne makes no dissolution of the govern-with, that so we might have had neither Liment, neither in our law, nor any other. If berty nor Property in the nation. His intention was to govern without law. The Protestant religion here was interwoven with all the Protestant States of Europe; and that principle justifies the prince of Orange's coming over, and all that joined with him; which interest, if it fall, all falls with it. From the time the king has withdrawn, here has been no application made from him; and therefore I believe he has no intentions to govern according to the constitution of the government: therefore no obligation remains upon us to him, in case this be an abdication of the government.
Mr. Pollerfen. The question that has been proposed is, Whether, by a voluntary departure of the king, the government is demised? I would not have gentlemen surprized by the word voluntary going away;' there is more meant by that than you suppose. There is a descent of the crown, if a voluntary departure; and then what do you here, if you admit that? But if it be a 'demise,' then the crown is full by succession; and then too what do you here? If force has been upon the king, and then he fly, will you call this a voluntary departure? Was it voluntary' his flight from Salisbury to London? The stronger did chase the weaker. If this is voluntary,' what means the noise of arms? And is all this a voluntary driving away?' I would not have you catched with this, to entangle the debate. It is an unnecessary question to carry at first sight; and if the crown be vacant, trouble yourselves no farther in the matter. If the crown be demised, you must think of the succession of it.
Mr. Dolben. I would not be thought to catch the house, by any motion from me. must still call the king's departure, when he needed not, and might have stayed, though there was noise of arms,' yet if the king would not stick to his laws, nor redress the grievances of his people, I must call that a voluntary demise.' It is true, upon a demise, there must be a descent; but the question is, whether the crown be vacant, now the king is departed, and no body to fill it up?
Sir James Oxenden. It is a voluntary departure' in the king, to go away, and stir up foreign princes to bring a foreign power to destroy us. I cannot call it otherwise.
Sir Henry Capel. It is said, 'the king might have stayed, and called a parliament.' But Popery and a Protestant government are consistent. I move, that you will vote, that the Crown is
"Sir Robert Howard entertained the committee with a long harangue; and he was the first who ventured to assert the Vacancy of the Throne, and the breach of the Original Contract, by a continued series of illegal acts (many of which he enumerated and displayed) throughout the whole course of king James's reign." Echard.
+ "An honest and learned, but perplexed lawyer." Burnet. He was soon after made lord chief justice.
Mr. Boscawen. I have hearkened to Saw- | his titles, every man must swear to his vote, yer a great while, but I know not how to un- that he whom you shall place on the throne is derstand, that the fourth part of the people lawful and rightful king. of England are not here represented,' and Sir Rob. Howard.* 'that this is not a parliament.' I would know of him, what other way he can propose of calling a parliament, than what has been in calling this? I am of opinion, that, if we sit bere till he finds a way to sit better than as you are, you may sit till doomsday. Gentlemen, in former parliaments, may remember they were told, that the king could not be trae to his religion, if he did not what he has done:' and I believe none are willing to go into Egypt again. To settle things now, is the way to maintain both your Laws and Religion. If the king's going away be a demise, then you must supply the throne. And here is not only the king, but a little one beyond sea too, that will pretend. I would say no more, but that the Throne is void;' then take the best way you can; and there is but one to defend you from him that is gone, that endeavoured to destroy your laws. We must not fight with a bulrush: therefore declare that the Throne is void,' and fill it. And pray put the question, that the Throne is void.'
Sir Win. Pulteney. I shall speak short to the question, whether abdication,' or the Throne void.' I would have both in the question, for what he has destroyed was without making any provision for the administration of the government. We come to supply what he has taken from us. Have not you made another determination of putting the government into another's hand for the present, which you have already, in effect, declared a demise?"
Mr. Howe. People were not free from slavery till the tyrant ran away. I will not say that any king may have the same guilt, but we may have the same fears of Popish lordlieutenants set over us: therefore put into the question all this. The last use he made of the great seal was to pardon malefactors, that have reduced you to this condition.
Mr. Finch. I desire to explain myself. It is insinuated as if, from what I should have said, a loop-hole may be left for the king's return. I am so far from that, that I think there can be no safety in the king's return, by unanimous consent of the nation. I think the government not safe by his administration; but all men will agree to be secured. I did say no more. I did not mean to capitulate, but to establish things by such a regent during the king's life; if there may be such a security, all men will agree to it, and this is no loop-bole to let in the king again to the government; for the king by going away, &c. and his male-administration, ought not to be trusted; and we may fear that, in the regency, power may be exceeded: therefore we have a Fight to demand security, that we be invaded no more yet the disposing of the crown is another question. All men can agree, that there is no security in his return. But whether his administration does so cease as to lose VOL. V.
A regency and the king are all one. The question, as moved and amended, takes in the sense of the house. Much is said of the Succession; but we are the people; and threaten ourselves by ourselves when the question is asked, shall we dare to chuse? To talk of preserving the Succession as sacred, is to suppose the title of the Prince-a thing well cozened. If the young gentleman beyond the seas should die, the king of France will find another for you.
Lord Fanshaw. It is said the king has withdrawn himself. He is gone away by compulsion, in my judgment. I heard him say, That he was afraid of being seized by his own subjects. When he was at liberty at Feversham he came back. Have we power to depose? In law, the king can do no wrong; for that reason ministers are called to account There is no occasion for haste. Let the question be adjourned to another day.
Mr. Roberts. If the question is to have no other consequence than would follow on the king's natural demise, I will go nem. con.
Lord Colchester moves to report it presently.
Sir Wm. Williams moves the house to sit tomorrow, and receive the Report.
Sir J. Knight would immediately have a head.
Sir Rowland Gwyn. Time is precious, I would report now. Mr. Medlicot.
Security depends on dis
Sir J. Knight. Consider the bleeding condition of Trade.
Vote declaring the Throne Vacant.] At length, the house came to this grand Resolution-Resolved, "That king James the Second, having endeavoured to subvert the Constitution of the Kingdom, by breaking the original Contract between king and people, and, by the advice of Jesuits, and other wicked persons, having violated the fundamental Laws, and having withdrawn himself out of this Kingdom, has abdicated the Government, and that the Throne is thereby become vacant." Which was agreed to by the house, and the lords concurrence was desired.
Further Debate on the State of the Nation.] Jan. 29. The house of commons went into a Grand Committee, on the State of the Nation.
Col. Birch. When I consider the extraordinary hand of God that brought us hither, and the freedom we are here met in, it amazes
The remainder of this day's debate is transcribed from Lord Somers's Notes taken with a pencil. See Hardwicke Papers, vol. ii. p. 411.
"The above complicated Resolution (when ratified by both houses) was perhaps the most remarkable of all the English Records." Echard. E
supremacy, that neither foreign potentate,
move, therefore, that you will not only declare it to be against the interest of the Protestant Religion to be governed by a Popish prince, but that it is against our law.' Our free independent government is not consistent with a nuutio from the Pope: 400 years together we have laboured to keep the Church of Rome from our government.
Sir Rob. Sawyer. Will that gentleman say, that the laws 400 years since, and some in Hen. 8th's time, were inconsistent with the Popish government? I am sure, without doors, it will be strangely thought of, if Hen. 8 should not be some time a Popish prince.
me; and I am not able to comprehend this work of God in such an extraordinary manner; aud, concerning king James's deposing himself, it is the hand of God. These 40 years we have been scrambling for our Religion, and have saved but little of it. We have been striving against Anti-Christ, Popery, and Tyranny. If we go through with this work, let every one understand what he means: therefore I shall tell you what I mean. King James 1 was so fond of the Spanish match (though that proved a French match at last) that he lost the Palatinate by it: then followed pulling members out, and committing them to prison. When once king Charles 1 married a Papist, all things, from that time forward, went the contrary way; all things tended to Popery and a Civil War. At last I was in it, and, I thought, on the right side—(I amn sure, I endeavoured to make it so before I left it.) When the two estates remonstrated, and begged that the Customs might not be levied without Law, and Ship-money, there were smooth tongues in this house then to carry it on. Then came the breaking the laws and liberties, when things were near a conclusion. It was not the fault of the ministers of the Church of England; nay, nor the Non-conformists, but Popery was in the box, and Idolatry. I remember what was said in this house, when the late king James was married to this queen men will follow their interest; and it was his interest to destroy the Protestant Religion, our Laws and Liberties.' Popery will not prosper but in an arbitrary, tyrannical soil. If there had never a book been written on this subject, yet men may see, that, if God had not stopped him, we had been led like sheep to the slaughter. If then we are like to be ruined, if governed by a Popish prince, my motion is, That you will vote it inconsistent with a Protestant State to be governed by a Popish Prince.'
Sir Rd. Temple. I hope this will have no debate; for we have found by experience, that a Popish king is inconsistent with the government of a Protestant nation.
Major Wildman. Hen. 8 renounced Popery utterly. We speak of princes holding communion with the Church of Rome; and you may lay the word ' Papist' aside.
Mr. Hampden. I have a great deference to the learned person; but the Pope's supremacy was never heard of before the first nuntio came into England, at the instance of William the Conqueror, who found his clergy high, and therefore he got a foreign power over them, but complained afterwards, as the greatest grievance, of the Pope's power in Appeals, upon which the Statute of Provisors was made. Hen. 8 was the first prince that totally shook off the Pope's power, and the grounds justified him, being against the constitution of the government; and all agreed to it, and the laws against nuntios from the Pope. Q. Mary, not soon, prevailed with Cardinal Pole to coine over for nuntio. I desire the question as moved.
Lord Falkland. For the honour of your proceedings, let what you do to-day be consistent with what you did yesterday. If it be inconsistent with the law to have a Popish king, pursue your Vote of yesterday.
Resolved, "That it hath been found, by experience, to be inconsistent with the safety and welfare of this Protestant kingdom, to be governed by a Popish Prince."
Mr. Wharton. You resolved, by Vote, yesterday, That the Throne was vacant;' and I suppose every gentleman, and those few that were against the Vote, are now for filling the throne, and re-settling the government; and I hope it will be done as near the ancient government as can be. It is a matter of the greatest weight, and deserves the greatest consideration. Consider of it a thousand years, and you cannot cast your eyes upon a person so well to fill it as the prince and princess of Orange. To them we owe all our safety; most of us, by this time, must either have been slaves to the Papists, or hanged. I hope, that, for the future, we shall have security and preservation from them, and put them in a condition
of saving us from our dangers for the future. | As you did yesterday, so I desire you will now call upon the gentlemen of the long robe to put you in some way practicable. I have read the story of Philip and Mary; that was not a good reign, and so not a good precedent; but I hope we shall be all happy under king William and queen Mary.
Lord Falkland. It concerns us to take such care, that, as the Prince of Orange has secured us from Popery, we may secure ourselves from Arbitrary Government. The Prince's Declaration is for a lasting foundation of the government. I would know what our foundation is. Before the question be put, who shall be set upon the Throne, I would consider what powers we ought to give the crown, to satisfy them that sent us hither. We have had a prince that did dispense with our laws; and I hope we shall never leave that doubtful. The king set up an Ecclesiastical Court, as he was Supreme Head of the Church, and acted against law, and made himself head of the Charters. Therefore, before you fill the throne, I would have you resolve, what power you will give the king, and what not.
rity; and you may have time to call persons to account that break parliaments, when they will not do what pleased; to provide for their certainty and frequency, and that persons obtain not Pardons when they have ruined the nation; and to provide for Elections of Parliaments, that Corporations may not be made tools to nominate whom they please; to provide against a Standing Army without consent of parliament, not in peace, when there is no war nor rebellion. An Army was no part of the government till the late king's time. The Militia Act was made use of to disarm all England. 2. Your care should be, that Westminster-hall be better filled with Judges, and not, under pretence of the king's prerogative, to give away all. That the Judges be during life,' and that they have Salaries instead of Fees: that Sheriffs make not unjust returns of juries, and that Westminster-hall have as little power as you can. Formerly Westminsterball decided not great cases, but left them to parliament. The Judges now do not only lez dicere but facere. In new and difficult cases, this will be the way to preserve you from what they are bid to judge. 3. The CoronationOath to be taken upon entrance into the government; and, as we are sworn to our kings, so they to be sworn to protect us. Pursue the ends of the Prince's Declaration, with some such securities as I have mentioned, that these things may be taken care of; to recommend to posterity what you have done for them.
Mr. Garroway. We have had such violation of our liberties in the last reigns, that the prince of Orange cannot take it ill, if we make conditions, to secure ourselves for the future; and in it we shall but do justice to those who sent us hither, and not deliver them up without very good reason.
Mr. Boscawen. We know, that the Prince's Declaration pursues all those ends mentioned. But Arbitrary Government was not only by the late king that is gone, but by his ministers, and farthered by extravagant acts of the Long Parliament. The Act for regulating Corporations was upon a specious pretence to secure the crown, but had the end with the commissions for regulating Corporations. Though ever so loyal, yet if they differed from the designs of the ministry, they were put out. The Militia, under pretence of persons disturbing the government, disarmed and imprisoned men without any cause: I myself was so dealt with. There is a clause in the Militia-Act, for a week's tax after 70,000l. for trophies, and not to exceed it; but as it is now practised, 2 or 3 years have been collected together, without regard to the act. Arbitrary Power is ill in a prince, but abominable to one another. The Triennial Bili for parliaments was but a device, when we were going into slavery; but by such an act, if we have no redress of Grievances (as Mr. Vaughan, of this house, then said, who was as much for the king as any) better to have no law at all.' I move, that these things may be taken into consideration.
Resolved, "That, before the Committee proceed to fill the Throne, now vacant, they will proceed to secure our Religion, Laws, and Liberties."
Sir Wm. Williams. When we have considered the preservation of the laws of England for the future, then it will be time to consider the persons to fill the Throne. The Prince's Declaration has given us a fair platform. Some of your laws have been very grievous to the people, though not Grievances; and perhaps those occasioned arbitrary government. Those are to be redressed. Because king Charles 2 was called home by the Convention, and nothing settled, you found the consequence. Charles 2 was a young man, in the strength of his youth, and, you know, much money was given him, and what became of it? The act of the Militia is worthy your consideration, and he in whose hands you will put it should be our head. I take it to be your security to settle your safety for the future, and then to consider the person. I now speak for all England. I would consider purging Corporations, and arbitrary power given the late king by the judges: weak judges will do weak things; their master commands them; they read no books, and know nothing to the contrary. I could give many more instances.
Sir Rd. Temple. I hope you will not leave till you see how we got out of our rights. Secure your liberties, and you cannot better recommend the government to one to succeed than by settling these things. I will reduce my thoughts to three heads essentially necessary: 1. Encroachment upon Parliament, (tho' in the hands where you will place the government there may be no danger) to secure poste
Serjeant Maynard. I agree to the Vote; but I fear, if we look so much one way on Arbitrary Government, we may sit five years,