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excluded from the succession by this vote? No man sure will undertake to tell me, that a vote of either house, or both houses together, can alter the law in this or any other point. But because I am very desirous that this vote should have its effect, I desire that every thing of this nature should be done in the ancient usual method, by act of parliament.-God forbid that since we are happily delivered from the fears of Popery and arbitrary power, we should assume any such power to ourselves; what advantage should we then give to those, who would quarrel with our settlement for the illegality of it? Would not this, which we thus endeavour to crush, break forth into a viper? -For the Record of 1 Henry 4. I acknowledge the words of the royal seat being vacant are used. But since you yourselves tell us of it, that Henry the 4th did claim by inheri tance from his grandfather, that methinks may come up to what I would have the declared sense of both houses upon this question; (to wit) the throne might be vacant of Richard the Second, but not so vacant but the claim of the immediate successor was to take place, and not be excluded, but entirely preserved.-And Richard 2. seems to have had the same opinion, by delivering over his signet to them. Our laws know no inter-regnum; but upon the death of the predecessor the next heir is king in uno & eodem instante.'—It was so resolved even in Richard the 2nd's own case; for at his grandfather's death it was a question, whether king Richard 2. or the eldest son of his grandfather then living, should succeed; and it was resolved, that he ought to have it, because of his right of inheritance: which is the more remarkable, because of the contest.— And when Richard 3. usurped his crown, to make his claim good to the right of inheritance, he bastardized his own nephews. And so it was in all the instances of the breaches that were made upon the line of succession, which were some seven (but all illegal) for such was the force of the laws, that the usurpers would not take the crown upon them, unless they had some specious pretence of an hereditary title to it. That which I would have avoided by all means, is, the mischievous consequences that I fear will ensue upon this vacancy of the throne, (to wit) the utter overthrow of the whole constitution of our government. For if it be so, and the lords and commons only remain as part of it, will not this make the king one of the three estates? Then is he the head of the commonwealth, all united in one body under him. And if the head be taken away, and the throne vacant, by what laws or consétution is it that we retain lords and commons? For they are knit together in their common head; and if one part of the government be dissolved, I see not any reason but all must be dissolved. Therefore it is of very great importance that we come to an explanation, how far you mean the throne to be vacant; and that if it reach to the king and his heirs, (notwithstanding all the acts of
parliament about the succession) we may consider how the consequences of that will affect the constitution; for I presume to say, it may then be in your power as well to say we shall have no king at all. I was mistaken by the gentleman who took notice of what I said the lords might do of themselves, in the absence of the king: I would not be understood to say, the government would be devolved upon the lords; but I may say they are the government's great council in the interval of parliaments, and may have greater sway by the privilege of their birth, in the exigencies of the state: as appears in several instances, and particularly the first of Henry 6. and during his infancy.-There was a case put by one gentleman, about the two ons of Edward 4. being kept prisoners so long, till it could not be known by any living witnesses which was the eldest: I would only ask that gentleman, whether in that case he would say the Throne were vacant; certainly there would have been one in the throne.-But then it followeth, that though there should be an uncertainty of the particular person, yet that would not infer a necessity that the throne should be vacant.-Upon the whole matter, you seem to understand your own words to signify less than they do really import.—I do not find that you purpose to make the kingdom elective; and yet you talk of supplying the vacancy by the lords and commons.- You do not say, that the king has left the crown for himself and his heirs; and yet your words speak of a vacancy, and nothing of the succession: but you do not tell us what you mean.-Therefore if this matter were explained, that my lords may know how far the intention of the Vote reacheth, that it may not abroad, or hereafter, be construed to go beyond such meaning, (that is) as to the king himself, and not to his heirs, perhaps there might quickly be a happier accommodation than can be expected while things remain thus, still in doubt, and in the dark.-Gentlemen, if any of you can settle this matter in its true light, it would do very well; and it is you must do it; for the words are yours, and so we must be told your signification and intention by yourselves.
If you mean by Abdication and Vacancy' only that the king has left the government, and it is devolved upon the next successor, that may perhaps satisfy my lords, and we may agree upon some settlement.-I must confess any government is better than none; but I earnestly desire we may enjoy our ancient constitution.-Therefore I again renew my re quest, that you would come to such an explanation, as may breed an union between the two houses, for the strength of your consultation and resolutions in this great emergency.— If the kingdom were indeed elective, we were in a capacity of electing, but pro hac vice,' according to the constitution, this question would be greater than what it was before; but then the great debate in it would only be, who should first have the honour of laying the
very foundation of the new government.-But as this case stands upon the foot of our ancient laws, and fundamental constitution, I humbly beseech you to consider, whether at the same time that, in this way, you get an established government, you do not overturn all our legal foundations.
Mr. Paul Foley. I hope, my lords, there is no danger of shaking our fundamentals in this case; but we are pursuing those methods that agree with our laws and constitution: for though the monarchy of this nation be hereditary in the ordinary course of succession, yet there may fall out a case wherein that cannot be complied with, and a plain vacancy may enFor, put the case the whole royal line should fail, (as they are all mortal, as well as we ourselves are) should we in that case bave no government at all? And who then should we have but the lords and commons? And I think that case comes nearest to the case in question, where the successor is not known; for if he had been, we should have heard of him before now. And what is the reason that it should then in the former case devolve to lords and commons, but that there is no king? And they being the representative body of the kingdom, are the only remaining apparent parts of the government, and are only to supply the defect by providing a successor. And, is there not the same reason here? We are without a king, I am sure I do not know of any that we have: If that fall out to be the case now, that will infer a vacancy with a witness, and it will be of necessity that the lords and commons take care to supply it.
Mr. G. Eyre. My lords, we are led, and I think, out of the way, into a very large field, hunting after the consequences of a vote not yet settled or agreed unto: we have, as I conceive, nothing but the vote itself to consider of, or debate upon : we do not intend to prejudice any legal right but what the consequences of this vote may be, before the vote itself be passed, I believe no man can reasonably pretend to ascertain, unless we have the spirit of prophecy.-The throne may be vacant as to the possession, without the exclusion of one that has a right to the succession, or a dissolation of the government in the constitution; neither will there be room for the objection of a king 'de facto,' and not' de jure,' which some of the lords were pleased to express their fears of. This gentleman that stands by me instanced in a Record, and that was mistaken as a precedent for the proceeding in this case: it was only mentioned by him to shew, that by using the word vacant," the commons did no more than our ancestors did before us; and therefore it was not an unknown word or thing to have the throne vacant. We do apprehend we have made a right and apt conclusion from the premises, for otherwise all the Vote is but historical. We declare the late king hath broke the Original Contract, hath violated the fundamental laws, and hath withdrawn himself out of the kingdom, that he hath abdicated,
and actually renounced the government. What occasion was there for such a Declaration as this, if nothing were concluded from it? That were only to give the kingdom a compendious history of those miseries they have too well learnt by feeling them. Therefore there was a necessity to make some conclusion, and none so natural as this; that we are left without a king; in the words of the Vote,that the Throne is thereby vacant, which it may be as to the possession, and yet the Right of Succession no way prejudiced.-But, my lords, we come here by the command of the house of commons, to debate the Reasons of their Vote and your lordships Amendments; not to dispute what will be the Consequences, which is not at present our province.
And so the conference ended, and the members of each house returned to their respective houses.
The Lords agree to the Vote of Vacancy.] Feb. 7. A Message was sent from the lords to the commons by sir Robert Atkins and sir Edw. Nevil, viz.
"Mr. Speaker; the lords have commanded us to tell you, that they have agreed to the Vote sent them up of the 28th of January last, (touching which there was a free conference yesterday) without any Alterations."
THE DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.] Feb. 13. This day, about ten of the clock, Mr. Speaker, attended with the mace, and the house of commons following him in a body, went in their coaches to Whitehall where the right hon. the marquis of Halifax, Speaker of the house of lords, with the house of lords, being placed on the right side of the door, within the Banquetting-House; and the right hon. Henry Powle, esq. Speaker of the house of commons, with the commons on the left side of the door of the said Banquetting-House; waited the coming of the Prince and Princess of Orange: who, immediately after, entering in at the upper end of the Banquetting-House, came and stood upon the step under the canopy of state where being placed, the Speakers of both houses, together with the lords and commons that accompanied them, were brought up by the gentleman-usher of the black-rod, making three obeisances, one at the lower end of the room, one in the middle, and one at the step where their Highnesses stood. And then the Speaker of the house of lords acquainted their Highnesses, That both houses had agreed upon a DECLARATION to be presented to their Highnesses; which he desired might be read; which being granted by their Highnesses, the clerk of the house of lords, by order of that house, read the Declaration as followeth :
"Whereas the late king James 2, by the assistance of divers evil Counsellors, Judges and Ministers employed by him, did endeavour to subvert and extirpate the Protestant Religion, and the Laws and Liberties of this kingdom: By assuming and exercising a Power of dispensing with, and suspending of Laws, and the execution
of Laws, without consent of parliament: By vindicating and asserting their ancient Rights committing and prosecuting divers worthy Pre- and Liberties, declare; That the pretended lates, for humbly petitioning to be excused from Power of suspending of Laws, or the Execution concurring to the said assumed Power: By issu- of Laws, by regal authority, without consent of ing and causing to be executed, a Commission parliament, is illegal: That the pretended under the Great Seal, for erecting a Court Power of dispensing with Laws, or the Execucalled, The Court of Commissioners for tion of Laws, by regal authority, as it hath Ecclesiastical Causes: By levying Money for been assumed and exercised of late, is illegal : and to the use of the crown, by pretence of That the Commission for erecting the late Prerogative, for other time, and in other man- Court of Commissioners for Ecclesiastical ner, than the same was granted by parliament: Causes, and all other Commission and Courts By raising and keeping a Standing-Army of the like nature, are illegal and perniwithin this kingdom in time of peace, without cious: That Levying of Money, for or to the consent of parliament; and quartering Sol- use of the crown, by pretence of Prerogative, diers contrary to law: by causing divers good without Grant of Parliament, for longer time, subjects, being Protestants, to be disarmed, at or in any other manner than the same is or the same time when Papists were both armed shall be granted, is illegal: That it is the Right and employed contrary to law: By violating of the Subjects to petition the king, and all the Freedom of Election of Members to serve Commitments and Prosecutions for such petiin Parliament: By prosecutions in the Court tioning, are illegal: That the raising or keeping of King's Bench for matters and causes cogniza- a Standing-Army within the kingdom in time ble only in parliament; and by divers other of peace, unless it be with consent of parliaarbitrary and illegal courses. And whereas of ment, is against law: That the subjects, which late years, partial, corrupt, and unqualified are Protestants, may have Arms for their persons, have been returned and served on Defence suitable to their condition, and as Juries in Trials, and particularly divers Juries allowed by law: That Elections of Members in Trials for High-Treason, which were not of Parliament ought to be free: That the Freefreeholders: and excessive Bail hath been re-dom of Speech, and Debates, or proceedings quired of persons committed in criminal cases, to elude the benefit of the laws made for the Liberty of the Subjects: and excessive Fines have been imposed; and illegal and cruel Punishments inflicted: and several Grants and Promises made of Fines and Forfeitures, before any Conviction or Judgment against the persons upon whom the same were to be levied: All which are utterly and directly contrary to the known laws and statutes, and freedom of this realm. And whereas the said late king James 2, having abdicated the Government, and the Throne being thereby vacant, his Highness the Prince of Orange (whom it hath pleased Almighty God to make the glorious instrument of delivering this kingdom from Popery and Arbitrary Power) did (by the Advice of the lords spiritual and temporal, and divers principal persons of the Commons) cause Letters to be written to the lords spiritual and temporal, being Protestants, and other Letters to the several counties, cities, universities, boroughs, and cinque-ports, for the chasing of such persons to represent them, as were of right to be sent to parliament, to meet and sit at Westminster, upon the 22d day of January in this Year 1688, in order to such an Establishment, as that their Religion, Laws and Liberties, might not again be in danger of being subverted: Upon which Letters, Elections having been accordingly made; and thereupon the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, pursuant to their several Letters and Elections, being now assembled in a full and free Representative of this nation, taking into their most serious consideration the best means for attaining the ends aforesaid, do in the first place (as their ancestors in like case have usually done) for
in Parliament, ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament: That Excessive Bail ought not to be required, nor Excessive Fines infposed, nor cruel and unusual Punishments inflicted: That Jurors ought to be duly empannelled and returned, and Jurors, which pass upon men in Trials of High-Treason, ought to be Free-Holders: That all Grants and Promises of Fines and Forfeitures of particular persons, before Conviction, are illegal and void: And that for Redress of all Grievances, and for the amending, strengthening and preserving of the Laws, Parliaments ought to be held frequently. And they do claim, demand and insist upon all and singular the premises, as their undoubted Rights and Liberties; and no Declarations, Judgments, Doings or Proceedings, to the prejudice of the people in any of the said premises, ought in any wise to be drawn hereafter into consequence or example. To which Demand of their Rights they are particularly encouraged by the Declaration of his highness the Prince of Orange, as being the only means for obtaining a full Redress and Remedy therein.-Having therefore an entire confidence, that his said highness the Prince of Orange will perfect the Deliverance so far advanced by him, and will still preserve them from the Violation of their Rights, which they have here asserted, and from all other attempts upon their Religion, Rights and Liberties; the said lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, assembled at Westminster, do resolve, That William and Mary, Prince and Princess of Orange, be, and be declared King and Queen of England, France and Ireland, and the Dominions thereunto belonging, to hold the Crown and Royal Dignity of the said Kingdoms
said lords and commons, and multitudes of the people there assembled. From whence they proceeded in this manner: first, the head-bailiff of Westminster, with his men next the knight-marshal, and his men: then a class of trumpets, followed by the serjeaut-trumpeter: then an officer of arms, singly, followed by six other; each accompanied by a serjeant at arms: then Garter king of arms, with the Proclamation, accompanied by the gentlemanusher of the black rod: then the lord marquis of Halifax, attended by the eldest serjeant at arms and mace, in his coach: then Mr. Speaker of the house of commons, attended by another serjeant at arms, in his coach: then the duke of Norfolk, earl marshal of England, in his coach; and other of the nobility in their coaches: then the members of the house of commons in their coaches. And, in this order, came to Temple-Bar; where the gates
and Dominions, to them the said Prince and Princess during their lives, and the life of the Survivor of them; and that the sole and full exercise of the Regal Power be only in, and executed by the said Prince of Orange, in the names of the said Prince and Princess during their joint lives; and after their deceases the said Crown and Royal Dignity of the said kingdoms and dominions to be to the heirs of the body of the said Princess; and for default of such issue, to the Princess Anne of Denmark, and the heirs of her body; and for default of such issue, to the heirs of the body of the said Prince of Orange. And the said lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, do pray the said Prince and Princess of Orange, to accept the same accordingly: And that the Oaths hereafter mentioned be taken by all persons of whom the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy might be required by law, instead of them; and that the said Oaths of Allegiance and Su-being shut, two of the officers of arins, attended premacy be abrogated: "I A. B. do sincerely promise and swear, That I will be faithful, and bear true allegiance to their majesties, king William and queen Mary. So help me 'God.' 'I A. B. do swear, That I do from 6 my heart abhor, detest and abjure, as impious and heretical, this damnable doctrine and po'sition, That Princes excommunicated or deprived by the Pope, or any authority of the See of Rome, may be deposed or murdered by 'their subjects, or any other whatsoever. And 'I do declare, That no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate, hath, or ought to have, any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence, or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm. So help me 'God."
The Prince's Answer thereto.] After the public reading of this Declaration, the marquis of Halifax, Speaker of the house of lords, made a solemn tender of the Crown to their highnesses, in the name of both houses, the representative of the nation; whereupon the Prince of Orange returned the following Answer:
"My lords and gentlemen; This is certainly the greatest proof of the trust you have in us, that can be given; which is the thing which makes us value it the more; and we thankfully accept what you have offered to us. And as I had no other intention in coming hither, than to preserve your Religion, Laws and Liberties, so you may be sure, that I shall endeavour to support them, and shall be willing to concur in any thing that shall be for the good of the kingdom; and to do all that is in my power to advance the welfare and glory of the nation."
William and Mary proclaimed King and Queen.] Then the lords and commons there present, about 11 of the clock in the afternoon, came down to Whitehall Gate; where the officers of arms, and other persons, usually concerned in solemnities of that nature, being ready, Garter principal king of arms, having received a Proclamation for proclaiming the Prince and Princess of Orange King and Queen, read the same in the presence of the
by a serjeant at arms, and two trumpets, knocked thereat: and the sheriffs of London and Middlesex, coming to the gate, and inquiring of the occasion; and being informed thereof, ordered the gates to be opened: and the whole proceeding entered, except the bailiff of Westminster and his men, who returned back again from thence: and the lord mayor, recorder, and aldermen of the city of London, with the sheriffs, receiving them in their formalities; a second Proclamation was made, in like manner as before, between the two Temple gates: from whence the lord mayor, being indisposed in his health, going in his coach; and the aldermen, sheriffs, and recorder, riding on horseback before the lords and commons; they proceeded to the middle of Cheapside; and there made a third Proclamation; and from thence to the Royal Exchange, where a fourth Proclamation was made in the like manner; a lane being made all the way between Temple-Bar and the Exchange, by several companies of the Trained-Bands of the city. The said Proclamation was as followeth:
"Whereas it hath pleased Almighty God in his great mercy to this kingdom, to vouchsafs us a miraculous Deliverance from Popery and Arbitrary Power; and that our preservation is due, next under God, to the resolution and conduct of his highness the Prince of Orange, whom God hath chosen to be the glorious instrument of such an inestimable happiness to us and our posterity: and being highly sensible, and fully persuaded of the great and eminent virtue of her highness the Princess of Orange, whose zeal for the Protestant Religion will, no doubt, bring a blessing along with her upon this nation: And whereas the lords and commons now assembled at Westminster, have made a Declaration, and presented the same to the said Prince and Princess of Orange, and therein desired them to accept the Crown, who have accepted the same accordingly: We therefore the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, together with the lord-mayor and citizens of
London, and others of the commons of this realm, do with full consent publish and proclaim, according to the said Declaration, William and Mary, Prince and Princess of Orange, to be King and Queen of England, France and Ireland, with all the dominions and terr tories thereunto belonging: who are accordingly so to be owned, deemed and taken, by all the people of the aforesaid realms and dominions, who are from henceforth bound to acknowledge and pay unto them all faith and true allegiance; beseeching God, by whom kings reign, to bless King William and Queen Mary, with long and happy years to reign
they were both Whigs, the household was made up of such, except where there were buyers for places, which were set to sale. And though the king seemed to discourage such practices, yet he did not encourage proposals for detecting them. Mr. Bentinck, afterwards earl of Portland, was made groom of the stole and privy purse. He continued for ten years to be entirely trusted by the king, and served him with great fidelity and obsequiousness, but could never bring himself to be acceptable to the English nation. Mr. Sidney, made first lord Sidney, and then earl of Rumney, was made one of the gentlemen of the king's bedchamber, and afterwards secretary of state, lord lieutenant of Ireland, and in other great posts. The king's chief personal favour lay between Bentinck and him. He was brother to the earl of Leicester, and to Algernon Sidney, beheaded by king James. He was the man who had the secret of all the correspon dence, that was before the Revolution, between the Prince of Orange and his party in England, and the conduct of that whole affair, was, by the prince's own order, chiefly deposited in his hands. He was a graceful man, and had lived long at court, where he had some adventures that became very public. He was a person of a sweet and caressing temper, had no malice in his heart, but too great a love of pleasure. He had been sent envoy to Holland in the year 1679, where he entered into such particular confidences with the prince, that he had the highest measure of his trust and favour, that any Englishman ever had. Marshal Schomberg was made master of the ordnance, he had been of great service to the king in his expedition into England, and the king had been very earnestly pressed to bring him over with him, both because of the great reputation he was in, and because it was thought to be a se
Settlement of the Court, Council, and Ministry.] King William's first care after his advancement to the throne, was to settle a PrivyCouncil, and appoint a Ministry. The earl of Danby, created marquis of Carmarthen, was made president of the council. He bad, by his accomplishing the king's marriage with the queen, and heartily concurring in the Revolution from the very beginning, atoned in some measure for his proceedings under Charles 2. He is said to have pushed for the Treasurer's staff, a post he had formerly enjoyed, but was refused by the king, who was resolved the Treasury should be in the hands of commissioners. The Privy Seal was given to lord Halifax, who for zealously promoting all the steps that were lately made for the king, was hated by the Tories, and for his opposition to the Bill of Exclusion, was not beloved by the Whigs. The affair of surrendering up the Charters, and the remissness in relieving of Ireland, were also charged on him. He had for some time great credit with the king, but lord Carmarthen not being able to bear the equality, or rather preference that seemed to be given him, brought on a storm that quickly fell on him. The earl of Devon-curity for the king's person, and to the whole shire was made lord steward of the houshold, and the earl of Dorset, lord chamberlain. As
* The names of the Privy-Counsellors were as follows; his royal highness George prince of Denmark, William Sancroft, abp. of Canterbury, Henry Compton bishop of London, Henry duke of Norfolk, Charles marquis of Winchester, George marquis of Halifax, Thomas earl of Danby, Robert earl of Lindsey, Aubery earl of Oxford, Charles earl of Shrewsbury, Charles earl of Dorset and Middlesex, William earl of Bedford, John earl of Bath, Charles earl of Macclesfield, Daniel earl of Nottingham, Thomas viscount Falconberg, Charles viscount Mordaunt, Francis viscount Newport, Richard viscount Lumley, Philip lord Wharton, Ralph lord Montagu, Henry lord Delamere, John lord Churchill, Mr. Bentinck, Mr. Henry Sidney, sir Robert Howard, knt. sir Henry Capel, knt. Mr. Henry Powle, Mr. Edward Russel, Mr. Hugh Boscawen, and Mr. Richard Hampden, to whom were added on the 20th of Feb. Thomas Wharton, esq. and sir John Lowther, of Lowther, bart.
design, to have another general with him, to whom all would submit in case of any accident. The earl of Shrewsbury was declared secretary of state, and had the greatest share of the king's confidence. He had been educated a Papist, but had renounced that religion upon a very critical and anxious inquiry into matters of controversy. Some thought, that though he had forsaken popery, he was too sceptical, and too little fixed in the principles of religion. However, he seemed to be a man of great probity, and to have a high sense of honour. He had no ordinary measure of learning, a correct judgment, with a sweetness of temper, that charmed all who knew him. He had so great a command of himself, that during all the time he continued in the ministry, no person was heard to complain of him, except for his silent and reserved answers, with which his friends were not always well pleased. His modest deportment gave him such an interest in the king, that he never seemed so fond of any of his ministers, as he was of him. His method was only to lay in general the state of affairs before his majesty, without pressing too I