Page images
PDF
EPUB

Brabant, and Milan, Count of Habspurg, Flanders, Tirol, and Barcelona, Lord of Biscay and Molina, &c. By the account and information of this instrument and writing of renunciation and relinquishment, and that it may remain for a perpetual remembrance, I do make known and declare to kings, princes, potentates, commonwealths, communities, and particular persons, which now are, and shall be in future ages: That it being one of the principal positions of the treaties of peace, depending between the crowns of Spain and of France, with that of England, for the rendering it firm and lasting, and proceeding to a general one, on the maxim of securing for ever the universal good and quiet of Europe, by an equal weight of power, so that many being united in one, the balance of the equality desired, might not turn to the advantage of one, and the danger and hazard of the rest; it was propofed, and insisted on by England, and it was agreed to on my part, and on that of the King my grandsather, that for avoiding at any time whatever the union of this monarchy with that of France, and the possibility that it might happen in any cafe, reciprocal renunciations should be made by me, and for all my descendants, to the possibility of succeeding to the monarchy of France, and on the part of thofe princes, and of all their race, present and to come, to that of succeeding to this monarchy; by forming a proper project of abdication of all rights which might be claimed by the two royal houses of this, and of that monarchy, as to their succeeding mutually to each other; by separating, by the legal means of my renunciation, my branch from the royal stem of France, and all the branches of France from the stem of the blood royal of Spain; by taking care at the same time, in pursuance of the fundamental and perpetual maxim of the balance of power in Europe, which persuades and justifies the avoiding, in all cafes imaginable, the union of the monarchy of France with that of Spain, that the inconvenience should likewise be provided against, lest, in desault of my issue, the case should happen pen that this monarchy should devolve again to the House of Austria, whose dominions and dependencies, even without the union of the empire, would make it formidable; a motive which at other times made it justifiable to separate the hereditary dominions of the House of Austria from the body of the Spanish monarchy; it being agreed and settled to this end by England with me, and with the King my grandsather, that in sailure of me, and of my issue, the Duke of Savoy, and his sons and descendants, being males, born in constant lawful marriage, are to enter upon the succession of this monarchy; and in desault of his male line, the Prince Amadeo of Carignan, and his sons and descendants, being males, born in constant lawsul marriage; and in default of his line, Prince Thomas, brother of the Prince of Carignan, his sons and descendants, being males, born in constant lawful marriage, who, as descendants of the Insanta Donna Catharina, daughter of Philip the Second, and being expressly called, have a clear and known right, supposing the friendship and perpetual alliance, which the Duke of Savoy, and his descendants, are to solicit and obtain from this crown; it being to be believed, that by this perpetual and never-ceasing hope, the needle of the balance may remain invariable, and all the powers, wearied with the toil and uncertainty of batdes, may be amicably kept in an equal poise; it not remaining in the disposal of any of the parties to alter this federal equilibrium by way of any contract of renunciation, or retrocession, since the same reason, which induced its being admitted, demonstrates its permanency, a sundamental constitution being formed, which may setde by an unalterable law the succession of what is to come. In consequence of what is abovesaid, and for the love I bear to the Spaniards, and from the knowledge I have of what I owe to them, and the repeated experience of their fidelity, and for making a return to Divine Providence, by this resignation to its destiny, for the great benefit of having placed and maintained me on the

throne,

throne, among such illustrious and well-deserving vassals, I have determined to abdicate, for myself, and all my descendants, the right of succeeding to the crown of France, desiring not to depart from living and dying with my beloved and saithful Spaniards; leaving to all my descendants the inseparable bond of their sidelity and love. And to the end that this resolution may have its due esfect, and that the matter may cease, which has been looked upon as one of the principal motives of the war, which has hitherto afflicted Europe, of my own motion, free, spontaneous, and unconstrained will, I Don Philip, by the grace of God, King of Castille, Leon, Arragon, the Two Sicilies, Jerusalem, Navarre, Granada, Toledo, Valencia, Galicia, Majorca, Seville, Sardinia, Corduba, Corsica, Murcia, Jaen, the Algarves, Algezira, Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, the East and West Indies, the islands, and terra firma of the ocean, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Brabant, and Milan, Count of Habspurg, Flanders, Tirol, and Barcelona, Lord of Biscay and Molina, &c. do by this present instrument, for myself, for my heirs and successors, renounce, quit, and relinquish for ever and ever all pretensions, rights, and titles, which I have, or any descendant of mine hath at present, or may have at any time to come, to the succession of the crown of France; and I declare, and hold myself for excluded and separated, me, and my sons, heirs, and descendants for ever, for excluded and disabled absolutely, and without limitation, difference, and distinction of persons, degrees, sexes, and times, from the act: and right of succeeding to the crown of France. And I will and consent, for myself, and my said descendants, that now, as well as then, it may be taken to be passed over and transferred to him, who by mine and their being excluded, disabled, and incapacitated, shall be found next and immediate in degree to the King, by whose death it shall become vacant; and the succession to the said crown of France is at anytime, and in any case, to be settled on, and given to him, to have and to hold the same as true and lawsul successor, in the same manner as if I and my descendants had not been born, or been in the world; since for such are we to be held and esteemed, because in my person, and in that of my descendants, there is no consideration to be had, or foundation to be made of active or passive representation, beginning, or continuation of lineage effective, or contentive of substance, blood, or quality, nor can the descent, or computation of degrees of those persons be derived from the Most Christian King, my lord and grandsather, nor from the dauphin my sather, aor from the glorious Kings their progenitors; nor by any other means can they come into the succession, nor take possession of the degree of proximity, and exclude from it the person, who, as is abovesaid, shall be found next in degree. I will and consent for myself, and for my descendants, that from this time, as well as then, this right be looked upon and considered as passed over and transferred to the Duke of Berry my brother, and to his sons and descendants, being males, born in constant lawsul marriage; and in desault of his male issue, to the Duke of Orleans my uncle, and to his sons and descendants, being males, born in constant lawsul marriage; and in desault of his issue, to the Duke of Bourbon my cousin, and to his sons and descendants, being males, born in constant lawful marriage; and in like manner successively to all the princes of the blood of France, their sons and descendants, being males, for ever and ever, according to the place and order in which they shall be called to the crown by right of their birth; and consequendy to that person among the said princes, who (I and all my said descendants being, as is abovesaid, excluded, disabled, and incapacitated) shall be sound the nearest in immediate degree after that King, by whofe death the vacancy of the crown of France shall happen, and to whom the succession ought to belong at any ume, and in any case whatsoever, that he may possess the same as true and lawful successor, in the same manner as if I, and my

to

descendants,

descendants, had not been born. And for the greater strength of this act of abdication of all the rights and titles which appertained to me, and to all my sons and descendants, of succeeding to the aforesaid crown of France, I depart from, and relinquish especially that which might moreover accrue to the rights of birth from the letters patents, or instrument, whereby the King my grandsather preserved and reserved to me, and enabled me to enjoy the right of succession to the crown of France, which instrument was dispatched at Versailles in the month of December, in the year 1700, and passed, and approved, and registered by the parliament. I will that it cannot serve me for a foundation to the purpofes therein provided for, and I reject and renounce it, and hold it for null, void, and of no force, and for cancelled, and as if no such instrument had ever been executed. I promise and oblige myself, on the saith of a King's word, that as much as shall relate to my part, and that of my sons and descendants, which are and shall be, I will take care of the observation and accomplishment of this writing, without permitting or consenting that any thing be done contrary thereunto, directly or indirectly, in the whole, or in part; and I relinquish and depart from all and all manner of remedies, known or unknown, ordinary or extraordinary, and which by common right, or special privilege, might belong to us, to me, and to my sons and descendants, to reclaim, mention, or allege against what is abovesaid; and I renounce them all, and especially that of evident prejudice, enormous, and most enormous,which may be reckoned to have happened in this relinquishment and renunciation of the right of being able at any time to succeed to the crown aforementioned. I will that none of the said remedies, nor others, of whatsoever name, use, importance, and quality they may be, do avail us, or can avail us. And if in sact, or under any colour, we should endeavour to seize the said kingdom by force of arms, by making, or moving war, t-ffenfive or defensive, from this time for ever, that is to

be

« PreviousContinue »