Page images
PDF
EPUB

take their advice in ecclesiastical matters, assuring his majesty that it was their intention forthwith to proceed to the consideration of giving ease to the protestant dissenters.

The civil list for this year was settled at six huhdred thousand pounds, including what was to be allowed to the queen dowager, to the prince and princess of Denmark, the judges and marshal duke of Schomberg, to whom the parliament had already granted one hundred thousand pounds as a reward for his services. A revenue of one million two hundred thousand pounds was also voted for the support of the crown in time of peace, besides four hundred and twenty thousand pounds which had been granted for a present aid, to be levied by six monthly assessments : At this juncture, the king received intelligence of James II. having sailed from Brest for Ireland with a considerable number of French troops. The parliament was no sooner informed of it than both houses unanimously voted an address, in which they declared, that they would stand by and assist his majesty with their lives and fortunes, in supporting the alliances abroad, in reducing Ireland, and in defence of the protestant religion and laws of the kingdom. The king in his answer; expatiated upon the zeal of the Dutch for the interests of Britain as well as the maintenance of the protestant religion ; he expressed his hope that the parliament would not only repay the sums they had expended in his expedition, but support them powerfully against the common enemies of their liberties and religion. He observed that a considerable army and fleet would be necessary for the reduction of Ireland and the protection of England.

The sum expended by the states-general in William's expedition, amounted to 7,301,332 guilders,

VOL. III.

LL

equivalent to about 686,500l. andthe commons granted 600,000l. for the discharge of this debt; they likewise voted funds for raising and maintaining an army of twenty-two thousand men, and for equipping a numerous fleet ; but they provided for no more than half-a-year's subsistence of the troops, hoping the reduction of Ireland might be completed in that time. This precaution was urged by the whigs, who were resolved to supply the king always gradually that he might be the more dependant upon their zeal and attachment, but he was not at all pleased with this instance of frugality, which he considered as a mark of diffidence of his administration. The tories per. ceiving his disgust, did not fail to foment his jealousy against their adversaries, who further confirmed it by a fresh attempt respecting militia. A bill was brought for regulating it in such a manner as would have rendered it in a great measure independent both of the king and the lords-lieutenants of the counties; these being generally peers, the bill was suffered to lie on the table. But the king began to think himself in danger of being enslaved by a republican party; these suspicions as well as the importance of maintaining the royal prerogative were aggravated by Nottingham, and the tories, by his channel, made proffers of service to his majesty; but complained at the same time, that as they were in danger of being prosecuted for their lives and fortunes, they could not without an act of indemni. ty exert themselves in favour of the crown.

The king was induced by these remonstrances to send a message to the house of commons, recommending a bill of indemnity as the most effectual means for putting an end to all controversies and occasions of discord, but his design was frustrated by the backwardness of the whigs, who, suspecting the real motive of the bill, or apprehending its con

sequences, proceeded so slowly in the debates upon it that it could not be brought to maturity before the end of the session. The more the king seemed to be dissatisfied at it, the more he confirmed the suspicions and increased the jealousy of the whig party.

The next important business was the passing of an act for declaring the rights and liberties of the people, and settling the succession of the crown to the king and queen and their issue ; after them, to the princess Anne and her issue; and after these to the king and his issue by another queen; disabling all papists from succeeding to the crown, as well as such as should marry papists, and absolving the subject in that case from allegiance. This act rehearses the whole declaration of the rights and liberties of the subject offered to and accepted by their majesties on the 13th of February, and establishes them to be the rights and liberties of the people of Enga land. To this, an additional clause was proposed by the king's order for naming the princess Sophia, duchess of Hanover next to the succession. The bill thus amended, passed the house of lords and was returned to the commons, where it occasioned considerable debates, and was put aside to be resumed at the opening of the next session, when the king thought it not necessary to renew the motion respecting the duchess of Hanover, as by the exclu. sion of all papists, the succession was equally secured to her, and by the suppression of that clause, the bill passed the commons without any opposition; the more so, that in the interval, all fears of a papist successor had been in a great measure dissipated by the delivery of the princess Anne, who, on the 27th of July brought forth a son, christened William, and afterwards created duke of Gloucester. He died July 29th, 1700.

During these transactions, the revolution was strenuously supported in Scotland by the duke of Hamilton, and all the presbyterians. The convention, which had been assembled in that kingdom, had pursued the same measures, and adopted the same resolutions as the English convention, notwithstanding the opposition of the episcopal clergy, and of a few noblemen whose attachment to their emigrated king was rather increased than lessened by his misfortunes. The duke of Gordon maintained the castle of Edinburgh for his majesty, but as he had neglected to lay in a store of provision, he depended entirely upon the citizens for subsistence, and the siege of the castle being carried on with the greatest vigour, he was soon reduced to the necessity of surrendering himself and his whole garrison at discretion, upon condition that their lives should be secured. The other partizans of James, were headed by the earls of Balcarras and Graham, viscount Dundee, who had assembled a body of highlanders, and resolved to attack general Mackay, who commanded William's forces in Scota land. After many marches and motions, they came to an engagement, May 26th, at Killikranky, a few miles above Dunkell. The highlanders obtained a complete victory; yet it was dearly purchased with the death of their beloved chieftain, the viscount Dundee, who fell by a random-shot in the engage. ment. He was the life and soul of James's cause in Scotland, and after his death it daily declined into

Scotland, disgrace. mad a very differo had been

William's affairs had a very different aspect in Ireland. The earl of Tyrconnel, who had been made lord lieutenant of that kingdom, in the beginning of king James's reign, had remained faithfully attached to his majesty; he, however, disguised his sentiments, and temporised with William until James should supply him with reinforcements from

France. « They consisted,” says sir John Reresby, 66 of a guard of one hundred Swiss, a band of skill66 ful pioneers, fifteen thousand of British subjects, to “ be embarked at Brest in a fleet of fourteen ships 66 of the line, seven frigates, three fire ships and a “ great number of transports.” Lewis XIV. assisted him likewise with eight experienced field officers, one hundred captains, with an equal number of lieutenants, forty thousand stand of arms, cannon and ammunition in great abundance, a large sum of money, plate, tents, and a splendid equipage; he likewise offered him fifteen thousand French troops, but king James refused them, saying, “ He would - succeed by the help of his own subjects, or perish « in the attempt.” At parting, Lewis presented him with his own cuirass, and embracing him affectionately, “ The best thing I can wish you,” said he, “ is, that I may never see you again.”

The count de Lausun, who had come over to England to offer his service to king James, and had attended the queen when she retired to France, had rendered himself extremely agreeable to their majesties, and obtained their promise that he should have the command of such forces as the king of France would assist him with. But when the expedition was ready to sail, Lausun demanded to be previously made a duke, alledging that king James had ordered him to solicit that honour. Lewis XIV. exceedingly displeased at this demand, rejected it in such terms of anger, that Lausun thought proper to lay aside all thoughts of going to Ireland, though king James made him a knight of the garter; Rosen, a German officer of experience and great abilities, was appointed to the command, under the title of lieutenant-general.

James embarked at Brest with his army and followers, and landed at Kinsale in Ireland, March 12th; went next day with a numerous attendance to Cork,

« PreviousContinue »