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a vote of thanks to his majesty, and made an order that his speech should be taken into consideration. After the throne had been declared vacant by a small majority of the peers, those who opposed that measure had gradually withdrawn themselves from the house, so that very few remained but such as were devoted to the new monarch. These, therefore, brought in a bill for preventing all disputes concerning the present parliament. In the mean time, Mr. Hambden in the lower house put the question, Whether a king elected by the lords spiritual and temporal, and the commons assembled at Westminster, coming to and consulting with the said lords and commons, did not make as complete a parliament, and legislative power and authority, as if the said king should cause new elections to be made by writ? Many members affirmed that the king's writ was as necessary as his presence to the being of a legal parliament, and, as the convention was defective in this particular, it could not be vested with a parliamentary authority by any management whatsoever.
The whigs replied, That the essence of a parliament consisted in the meeting and cooperation of the king, lords, and commons; and that it was not material whether they were convoked by writ or by letter: they proved this assertion by examples deduced from the history of England : they observed, that a new election would be attended with great trouble, expense, and loss of time; and that such delay might prove fatal to the protestant interest in Ireland, as well as to the allies on the continent. In the midst of this debate, the bill was brought down from the lords, and being read, a committee was appointed to make some amendments. These were no sooner made than the commons sent it back to the upper house, and it immediately received the royal assent. By this act the lords and commons, assembled at Westminster, were declared the two houses of parliament to all intents and purposes : it likewise ordained, That the present act, and all other acts to which the royal assent should be given before the next prorogation, should be understood and adjudged in law to begin on the thirteenth day of February: That the members, instead of the old oaths of allegiance and supremacy, should take the new oath incorporated in this act, under the ancient penalty ;
and, That the present parliament should be dissolved in the usual manner. Immediately after this transaction, a warm debate arose in the house of commons about the revenue, which the courtiers alleged had devolved with the crown upon William, at least during the life of James; for which term the greater part of it had been granted. The members in the opposition affirmed, that these grants were vacated with the throne; and at length it was voted, That the revenue had expired. Then a motion was made, That a revenue should be settled on the king and queen; and the house resolved it should be taken into consideration. While they deliberated on this affair, they received a message from his majesty, importing, that the late king had set sail from Brest with an armament to invade Ireland. They forthwith resolved to assist his majesty with their lives and fortunes : they voted a temporary aid of four hundred and twenty thousand pounds, to be levied by monthly assessments; and both houses waited on the king to signify this resolution. But this unanimity did not take place till several lords spiritual as well as temporal had, rather than take the oaths, absented themselves from parliament. The nonjuring prelates were Sancroft, archbishop of Canterbury, Turner, bishop of Ely, Lake, of Chichester, Ken, of Bath and Wells, White, of Peterborough, Lloyd, of Norwich, Thomas, of Worcester, and Frampton, of Gloucester. The temporal peers who refused the oath, were the duke of Newcastle, the earls of Clarendon, Litchfield, Exeter, Yarmouth, and Stafford; the lords Griffin and Stawell. Five of the bishops withdrew themselves from the house at one time; but, before they retired, one of the pumber moved for a bill of toleration, and another of comprehension, by which moderate dissenters might be reconciled to the church, and admitted into ecclesiastical benefi
Such bills were actually prepared and presented by the earl of Nottingham, who received the thanks of the house for the pains he had taken. From this period, the party averse to the government of William were distinguished by the appellation of nonjurors. They rejected the notion of a king de facto, as well as all other distinctions and limitation's; and declared for the absolute power, and divine hereditarv indefeasible right of sovereigns VOL. 1.
IV. This faction had already begun to practise against the new government. The king having received some intimation of their designs from intercepted letters, ordered the earl of Arran, sir Robert Hamilton, and some other gentlemen of the Scottish nation, to be apprehended and sent prisoners to the Tower. Then he informed the two houses of the step he had taken, and even craved their advice with regard to his conduct in such a delicate affair, which had compelled him to trespass upon the law of England. The lords thanked him for the care he took of their liberties, and desired he would secure all disturbers of the peace : but the commons empowered him by a bill to dispense with the habeas corpus act till the seventeenth of April next ensuing. This was a stretch of confidence in the crown which had not been made in favour of the late king, even while Argyle and Monmouth were in open rebellion. A spirit of discontent had by this time diffused itself through the army, and become so formidable to the court, that the king resolved to detain the Dutch troops in England, and send over to Holland in their room such regiments as were most tinctured with disaffection. Of these the Scottish regiment of Dumbarton, commanded by mareschal Schomberg, mutinied on its march to Ipswich, seized the military chest, disarmed the officers who opposed their design, declared for king James, and with four pieces of cannon began their march for Scotland. William, being informed of this revolt, ordered general Ginckel to pursue them with three regiments of Dutch dragoons, and the mutineers surrendered at discretion. As the delinquents were natives of Scotland, which had not yet submitted in form to the new government, the king did not think proper to punish them as rebels, but ordered them to proceed for Holland, according to his first intention. Though this attempt proved abortive, it made a strong impression upon the ministry, who were divided among themselves, and wavered in their principles. However, they seized this opportunity to bring in a bill for punishing mutiny and desertion, which in a little time passed both houses, and received the royal assent.
\ V. The coronation oath being altered and explained, that ceremony was performed on the eleventh day of April, the bishop of London officiating, at the king's desire, in the room of the metropolitan, who was a malcontent; and next day the commons, in a body, waited on the king and queen at Whitehall, with an address of congratulation. William, with a view to conciliate the affection of his new subjects, and check the progress of clamour and discontent, signified in a solemn message to the house of commons, his readiness to acquiesce in any measure they should think proper to take for a new regulation or total suppression of the hearth money, which he understood was a grievous imposition on the subjects; and this tax was afterwards abol
He was gratified with an address of thanks, couched in the warmest expressions of duty, gratitude, and affection, declaring they would take such measures in support of his crown, as would convince the world that he reigned in the hearts of his people.
9 VI. He had in his answer to the former address, assured them of his constant regard to the rights and prosperity of the nation : he had explained the exhausted state of the Dutch; expatiated upon the zeal of that republic for the interest of Britain, as well as the maintenance of the protestant religion; and expressed his hope that the English parliament would not only repay the sums they had expended in his expedition, but likewise further support them to the utmost of their ability against the common enemies of their liberties and religion. He had observed that a consider. able army and fleet would be necessary for the reduction of Ireland, and the protection of Britain; and he desired
f The new form of the coronation oath consisted in the following questions and answers :
“ Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the people of this “ kingdom of England, and the dominions thereto belonging, according to the sta"tutes in parliament agreed on, and the laws and customs of the same?”
Isolemnly promise so to do.' “Will you to your power, cause law and justice in mercy to be executed in all your judgments ?" I will.'---" Will you, to the utmost of your power, main“tain the laws of God, the true profession of the gospel, and the protestant reform" ed religion as by law established ? and will yon preserve unto the bishops and "clergy of this realm, and to the churches committed to their charge, all such
rights and privileges as by law, do, or shall appertain unto them or any of " them ?”
* All this I promise to do.'
T'hen the king or queen, laying his or her hand upon the gospels, shall say, “The things which I have here before promised I will perforin and keep. So "help me God.”
they would settle the revenue in such a manner, that is might be collected without difficulty and dispute. The sum total of the money expended by the states general in William's expedition amounted to seven millions of guilders, and the commons granted six hundred thousand pounds for the discharge of this debt, incurred for the preservation of their rights and religion. They voted funds for raising and maintaining an army of two-and-twenty thousand men, as well as 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 finished in that term; and this instance of frugality the king considered as a mark of their diffidence of his administration. The Whigs were resolved to supply him gradually, that he might be the more dependent upon their zeal and attachment: but he was not at all pleased with their precaution.
♡ VII. William was naturally biassed to Calvinism, and averse to persecution. Whatever promises he had made, and whatever sentiments of respect he had entertained for the church of England, he seemed now in a great measure alienated from it, by the opposition he had met with from its members, particularly from the bishops, who had thwarted his measures. By absenting themselves from parliament, and refusing the oath, they had plainly disowned his title, and renounced his government. He therefore resolved to mortify the church, and gratify his own friends at the same time, by removing the obstacles affixed to nonconformity, that all protestant dissenters should be rendered capable of enjoying and exercising civil employments. When he gave his assent to the bill for suspending the habeas corpus act, he recommended the establishment of a new oath in lieu of those of allegiance and supremacy: he expressed his hope that they would leave room for the admission of all his protestant subjects who should be found qualified for the service; he said, such a conjunction would unite them the more firmly among themselves, and strengthen them against their common adversaries. In consequence of this hint, a clause was inserted in the bill for abrogating the old and appointing the new oaths, by which the sacramental test was cleclared