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Accession of Anne.- New Parliament.-- Act of Secue
rity proposed.-Passed.-Alarmand Acts in England against the Scots.--Protestant Succession attempted in Parliament.- Postponed for a treaty of Union.--Negociation of the Commissioners.--Articles examined in Parliament. - Debates and Arguments of each party on an Union.---Insurrection projected and disappointed.—Union ratified by the Scotch--and English Parliaments.--Completed by dissolving the Privy Council, and introducing the English Treason Laws.--Review of its effects.Conclusion of the whole.
THE accession of the princess Anne, the eldest,
1 and the only protestant daughter of James Accomo that survived, was acceptable to the whigs, as the of Anne. settlement of the crown was fulfilled according to
the claim of rights, and propitious to the tories,
as a Stuart was again restored to the throne. The BOOK
XI. . latter were introduced into the administration in England; but in Scotland, where the tories were 1702. almost all Jacobites, the whigs were still permitted to remain in power. But the Jacobites were disposed to acquiesce in the queen's government, from a rational expectation, and perhaps a secret assurance, that though she would never relinquish the crown while alive, yet the ties of natural affection, and attachment to the last prince of her race, might persuade her to secure the succession to her brother, in the event of her decease. · The convention parliament, however refractory State of at times, had subsisted during the whole of the parti preceding reign. From its long duration, the ministry had found access to a majority of the members; and it was neither the interest of the former to dissolve the parliament, nor the inclination of the latter to return to their constituents. While the people were tranquil, a general election was considered as unnecessary; whenever they were agitated, it was represented as dangerous. But the loss of Darien, as it was ascribed to the pernicious influence of English councils, had created a formidable opposition in parliament, in proportion to the discontent which it excited through the nation. The Jacobites had assumed the mask of public spirit, to unite with a party that asserted the commercial interests and the independence of Scotland; and the duke of Hamil
BOOK ton, the ostensible leader of the country party,
was popular from his uniform opposition to the crown. His attachment to the exiled family was unalterable; but his address was sufficient to unite and reconcile the most discordant parties, and the most opposite characters to the prosecution of his designs. Cautious, and almost irresolute in deliberation, he was prompt, intrepid, and inflexible in the execution of measures; an impressive rather than an eloquent speaker; skilful in penetrating into the designs of others, but actuated, on the most important occasions, by some selfish, subordinate considerations of interest or revenge. His fortune was embarrassed by debts and law. suits, but his stake was too considerable, in each kingdom, to permit him ever to instigate his party to arms. From his ambition to supplant the duke of Queensberry in administration, his chief object at present, was to procure a dissolution of parliament, where his party was still inferior in
strength'. Secession By an act passed in the late reign for the secuframe per te rity of the kingdom, the duration of parliament
was prolonged six months after the death of the king. The estates were authorized to meet in parliament, within twenty days, in order to provide for the public safety and the protestant suc'cession, but not to innovate on the constitution,
* Lockhart's Mem. with Sir John Clerk's MS. Notes, p. 28. Cunningham's Hist. 1. 322.
or on the established laws ? Hamilton and his BOOK friends had applied in person to the queen to dis- c solve the parliament; but as a majority continued 1702. attached to the court; it was held by Queensberry, after an irregular adjournment beyond the appointed time. Before her majesty's commission or letter was read, the duke of Hamilton rose, and declared that the parliament, except so far as pre. served by the act of security, had expired in consequence of the demise of the crown; and as the objects of that act were happily accomplished, and the protestant succession and the public safety were already secured by her. majesty's accession, he protested against the proceedings, or the continuance of parliament, as an illegal convention, and withdrew at the head of eighty members, who were received by the populace with loud acclamations. Notwithstanding the unexpected, and large secession, the parliament was duly constituted; and when the queen's letter, recommending the measures of her predecessor, was read and enforced by the commissioner and chancellor, the estates proceeded to yindicate her authority and to assert their own. To disown or to impugn the authority either of the queen or of the parliament, was created treason. Presbyterian government was confirmed with such zeal, that a member who pronounced its principles inconsistent with monarchy, was immediately expelled,
2 Parl. 1696, ch, 17.
POOK The dean and faculty of advocates, who approved
the protest of the eighty members, were summon. ed to the bar, and severely reprimanded for their seditious votes. Ten monthly assessments and a half were granted, to be raised in two years; and the queen was empowered to appoint commise sioners for a treaty of union, according to the last, most earnest request of the late king. But a bill introduced by Marchmont the chancellor, to abjure her brother, the pretended prince of Wales, produced an unexpected division among the presbyterians themselves. Some were desirous to ex, clude the disaffected from the next parliament; others were averse to the settlement of the cļown, till the redress of grievances should be obtained from England. Ministers had received no in
structions to provide for the protestant succession, : which the English cabinet was inclined to leave
undetermined, to overawe the whigs; and the parliament was adjourned, as the opposition threatened to summon the seceding members to
their aid 3. betober 27. Commissioners were appointed from each kingUnion at- dom, to treat at Westminster, where some protempted.
gress was made to facilitate an union. They agreed that the two kingdoms should be incorporated into one monarchy, under the same legislature and line of succession, with a mutual communication
5 Lockhart, ii. Parl. 1702, ch. 7. Minutes of Parl. Care stairs, 714. Boyer's Annals of Queen Anne, i. 54.