Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

July 19.

1704.

“ be vindicated, and the guilty punished.” Whereupon the lord-chancellor declared, by order of the lord-commiffioner, that his grace had written, and would write again to the queen, for all the evidences relating to the plot. Two days after, the duke of Hamilton moved, “ That the par“ liament would proceed to make such limitations and con“ ditions of government, for the rectifying of the constitu“ tion, as might secure the religion, liberty, and indepen“dency of this nation; and that they would name com“ missioners to treat with England, for regulating the com

merce, and other concerns with that nation, previous to " all other business, except an act for two months cels, first “ of all to be granted for the present subsistence of her “ majesty's forces.” Upon this, the earl of Marchmont made a long speech, importing, “ That, fince the house " had resolved not to fall immediately upon fettling the 6c fucceßion, it was reasonable, that an act should be made “ to exclude all popish fucceffors.” To which the duke of Hamilton answered, “That he should be one of the first “ who fould draw his sword against a popith fucceffor, “ though he did not think this a proper tiine, either to set“ tle the succeflion, or to consider of the earl of March" mont's propofa!.” After fome debate, the confideration

of the duke of Hamilton's motion was adjourned for two July 21. days, when it was moved, That the act presented by the

lord-justice clerk, and declared by him to be for fourteen months fupply, payable in two years, might likewise be considered. After a debate, it was put to the vote, Whether to give a cets for two, or for fouteen months ? and, it

was carried by fixteen voices, that it should be for two July 25,

months only. The act of fupply was, four days after, taken again into consideration ; but there was tacked to it a great part of the bill for the security of the nation, which (as

hath been related) passed the former leflion of parliament, Sec but was refuted by the throne *. After fome debate, the vol. III. following refolve was offered by the lord Rois, “ That the of conti- “ parliament will proceed to grant two months fupply for nuation.

“ subuifting her majesty's forces; and, as foon as the act of “ security, now read, has got the royal ailent, will give «« four months more.

And then a second resolve was prefented by the carl of Roxbury, “That there be a first “ reading marked on the act of security; and that both “ this act, and that for the supply, lie, without being fur“ther proceeded on, until her majesty's commishoner re“ceive inttructions as to the act of security, it being then

s free

[ocr errors]

« free for the parliament to proceed to the acts jointly or. 1704. “ separately, as they should think fit.” After reasoning on both these resolves, the question was stated, Whether to approve my lord Ross's or the earl of Roxburgh's? It was carried for the lord Ross's; and the act of security being read, a first reading was ordered to be marked thereon. These things were carried with great heat and vehemence; for (as was before observed) a national humour of being independent on England, fermented so strongly among all sorts of people without doors, that those who went not into every hot motion that was made, were considered as the betrayers of their country: and they were so exposed to a popular fury, that some of those who studied to stop the torrent, were thought to be in danger of their lives. The presbyterians were so overawed with these proceedings, that though they wished well to the settling the fucceffion, they durft not openly declare it. The dukes of Hamilton and Athol led all these violent motions, and the whole nation was strangely inflamed. : The ministers were in great perplexity how to act, with regard to the fupply-bill, and the tack that was joined to it. If it was denied, the army could be no longer kept up; they had run so far in arrear, that, considering the poverty of the country, that could not be carried on imuch longer. Some suggested, that it should be proposed to the English ministry to advance the subsistence money, till better measures could be taken; but none of the Scotch ministers would agree to that. An army is reckoned to belong to those who pay it ; and therefore an army, paid from England, would be called an English army. Nor was it possible to manage such a thing fecretly. It was well known that there was no money in the Scotch treasury to pay them ; so that, if money were once brought into the treatury how fecretly foever, all men must conclude, that it came from England. And mens minds were then so full of the conceit of independency, that, if a suspicion arose of any such practice, probably it would have occationed tumults. Even the army itself was so inflamed with this temper, that it was believed, that nei. ther officers nor soldiers would have taken their pay, if they had believed it came from England. The aitair was therefore reduced to this dilemma, that either the army must be disbanded, or the bill must pass. It is true, the arm; was a very small one, not above three thousand, but it was so ordered, that it was double or treble officered : 1o that it could have been easily increased to a much greater number,

1704.

if there had been occasion for it. The officers had served long, and were men of a good character. Since therefore there were alarms of an invasion, which both sides looked for, and the intelligence which the court had from France, assured them it was intended; the ministers thought the inconveniencies arising from the tack might be remedied afterwards; but that the breaki:g of the army was such a per• nicious thing, and might end fo fatally, that it was not to be ventured on : therefore, by common confent, a letter was wrote to the queen, which was signed by all the ministers in Scotland, in which they laid the

whole matter before her, and every thing stated and balanced; concluding with their humble advice to pass the bill. This was very kcavy on the lord Godolphin, on whose counsel the queen chiefly relied. He faw, that the ill consequences of breaking the army, and laying that kingdom open to an invalion, would fall on him, ir be should, in contradiction to the advice given by the ministry of Scotland, have advised the queen to reject the bill. This was under confideration in the end of July, when affairs abroad were in a great uncertainty ; for though the victory at Schellenburg was a good ftep, yet the great decision was not then come. He thought therefore, confidering the state of affairs, and the accidents which might happen, that it was the safest thing for the queen to comply

with the advice of those to whom the trusted the affairs of Aug. 5.

that kingdom. The queen sent orders to pass the bill, which being done, the commissioner made the following speech on the occasion.

My lords and gentlemen,
AT your fitting down, her majesty, in her gracious let-

ter, recommended to you two things, which the thought most necefiary for your own quiet and security, as “ well as for that of her government; the fettling of the fuc« cession in the protestant line, and the providing for the sub« fistence of the forces, the funds lait given for that end

being then exhausted. The first of these you have not “ thought fit for your interest to do at this time. I heartily “ wish you may meet with an opportunity for it more for “ your advantage at another. The other all of you feemed “ most ready and willing to go into, as witness the several " motions and resolves made thereanent; but, withal, “ fhewed firong inclinations for an act of 1ocurity, as absoes lutely necellary. I told you then, as I had done at first, " that I had been fully impowered and infiructed, not only “ as to that, but many other things for your good ; but, 1704. upon the alternion of circuinitances, had not now the

to make use of those powers even as to that, till I are o quanted her majesty, and knew her mind, which “ Wed 10, and use my utmcit interest to procure it fa

Louimble; which was the true reron of your loog adjau neni, ani not what was inlinuated by some, who nugnt to have known me better, the character I have in ine world being, as I hope, above to mean a reflection.

“And now, my lords and gentlemen, I can tell you, " th..,, from her majesty's innate goodness and gracious “ diipulition towards you, it hath been more easy for me, " and some other of her servants, to prevail with her, than " perhaps was by others expected; so that you have an act of security sufficient for the ends proposed. And it is “ hoped, at the same time, you will perfect that of supply, " which you yourselves seem convinced to be absolutely “ neceffary at this time, and without which neither the forces can be kept on foot, nor any frigate maintained for guarding our coasts and securing our trade; both ” which now lying before you, I hope you will go pre“fently about, that, when finished, they may have the “ royal afsent, which I am ready to give. And therefore

you may have time to proceed to other business relating

to trade, or your other concerns, wherein I shall be “willing to comply with your defires, so they be within " the bounds of

my instructions." Thus this act of security was passed after the battle of Blenheim was over, but several days before the news of it reached England. When the act passed, copies of it were sent to England, where it was foon printed by those who were uneasy at the lord Godolphin's holding the white staff, and resolved to make use of this against hin; for the whole blame of passing it was cast upon him (a). It was not pof

fible

(a) This act was in substance of the crown of England, unless much the same with that to before that time there should be which the duke of Queensberry a settlement made in parliahad refused the royal aflent. ment, of the rights and liberties By the act it was provided, that, of the nation, independent on if the queen should die without English councils. By another issue, a parliament should pre- clause in the act, it was made sently meet, and they were to lawful to arm the subjects, and declare the successor to the to train them and put them in crown, who thould not be the a posture of defence. This was fame person that was poffelled chiefly preffed, in behalf of the

1704. sible to prove, that he had advised the queen to it, and there

fore some took it by another handle, and resolved to urge it against him, that he had not persuaded the queen to reject it, though that seemed a great stretch; for, he being a stranger to Scotland, it might have been liable to more objection, if he had presumed to advise the queen to refuse a bill passed in the parliament of that kingdom, which all the ministry there advised her to pass. Severe cenfures were passed upon this act. It was said, that the two kingdoms were now divided by law, and that the Scots were putting themselves in a poiture to defend it; and all faw by whole advices this was done. One thing, which contributed to keep up an ill humour in the parliament of Scotland, was more justly imputed to him. The queen had promised to fend down to them all the examinations relating to the plot. If these had been sent down, probably in the first heat, the matter might have been carried far against the duke of Queensberry. But he, who stayed all the while in London, got it to be represented to the queen, that the fending down these examinations, with the persons concerned in them, would run the feflion into so much heat, and into such a length, that it would divert them quite from considering thé succesion, and it might produce a tragical scene. Upon these suggestions, the queen altered her resolution of sending them down; and though repeated applications were made to her, both by the parliament and her ministers, to have them sent, yet no answer was made to these, nor was so much as an excuse made for vot sending them. The duke of Queenfberry, having gained this point, got all his friends to join with the party that opposed the new ministry. This both defeated all their projects, and softened the spirits of those who were so set against him, that in their first fury no stop could have been put to their proceedings. But now the party that had designed to ruin him, was so much wrought on by the artistance that his friends gave them in this seffion,

that they resolved to preserve him. Aug. 27.

The parliament having granted a fix months cess for the pay of the army, they were entering upon debates about the plot and the proceedings of the English house, of lords in that affair, as an undue intermeddling with their concerns, and an incroachment upon the sovereignty and independency of their nation, when the high-commissioner told them,

that best affected in the kingdom, ed; so to balance that, it was who were not armed ; for the moved, that leave fhould be Highlanders, who were the given to arm the worit affected, were well arm

« PredošláPokračovať »