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to the crown, and talked of it in most pompous

sometimes been done in an address, but in an act of parliament, his words and sentiments on this subject. For in the first act of parliament passed in this reign, intitled a " most joysul and just recognition of the immediate, "lawsul and undoubted succession, descent and right "of the crown," we sind the following expressions: "Your majesty's royal person, who is lineally, right"sully, and lawsully descended of the body of the most "excellent lady Margaret, eldest daughter of the most »c renowned king Henry the seventh, and they therein '* desire it may be published and declared in the high '' court of parliament, and enacted by authority of the tl fame, that they (being bounden thereunto both by *' the laws of God and man) do recognise and acknow*' ledge that immediately upon the dissolution and de"cease of Elizabeth, late queen of England, the im"perial crown of the realm of England, and of all the *' kingdoms, dominions and rights belonging to the "fame did by inherent Birthright, and lawful and un*' doubted succession, descend and come unto Ms most "excellent majesty, as being lineally, justly, and law"fully, next and sole heir of the blood royal of this "realm." (c) This was complaifance indeed! and (c) vide this together with their ascribing to him in the fame act, stat- ann0 "the rarest gifts of mind and body," and acknowled- bi"TM"; per- ging'' his great wisdom, knowledge, experience, andtotum. "dexterity," could hardly help rivetting in his mind his absurd opinions, and high self-estimation.

I call his notions of hereditary right, and lineal descent, absurd. For I know of no right that any person has to succeed another in wearing a crown, but what the laws give him ; if he is by law appointed the next heir, his right to succeed is built upon the most stable foundation. But the laws relating to the succession may be changed, according as the exigencies of the state and the public good require; and if by such a change any person or family is set aside from succeeding, the right N: 3 they

pous terms, tho' nothing could be more absurd and chimerical.


they might before have had vanishes, and without usurpation cannot take place. When that political law (fays a justly admired writer) which has established irt f the kingdom a certain order of succession, becomes "destructive to the body politic for whose fake it was "established, there is not the least room to doubt but "another political law may be made to change this or"der; and so far would this law be from opposing the f* first, it would in the main be entirely conformable to "it, since both would depend on this principle, that, ^Spiritof" tfie safety of the people is the fupream law" (d)~-— »i p/218. And indeed this hereditary right to the crown, here Load. 1750. boasted of by fa??ies, was " a meer chimera; contra"dicted by the general tenor of custom from the Nor"man invasion to his time; by the declared sense of f his immediate predecessors; by many solemn proceedi* ings of parliament, and by the express terms of law,

"Two families (for the race of Plantagenet was

?' grafted on the Norman race, and they may be rec"koned properly as one) had surnished, indeed, all "our kings; but this constituted no hereditary right. "When a prince of the royal family, but in a degree *' remote from the succession, comes to the crown, in *' prejudice to the next heir, hereditary right is violated, "as really as it would be if an absolute stranger to this *' family succeeded. Such a prince may have another, "and we think a better right, that for instance, which "is derived from a settlement of the crown, made by "the authority of parliament; but to fay he hath an "hereditary right, is the grossest abuse of words imagi. "nable. This we think so plain, that we should be "ashamed to go about to prove it.—Our kings of the "Norman race were so far from succeeding as next '' heirs to one another, and in a regular course of de'' scent, that no instance can be produced of the next f heirs succeeding, which is not preceded and followed ti by instances of the next heirs being set aside. '•

In consequence hereof he entertained high

. notions

: Thus Edward the first succeeded his father Henry the '• third; but his father Henry the third, and his grand : father John, had both been raised to the throne, in : plain defiance of hereditary right: the right of Ar

. thur, nephew to John, and the right of Arthur's

sister, cousin-german to Henry. Edward the

second succeeded his father Edward the firji; but Edward the third deposed Edward the second; the parliament renounced all allegiance to him ; and Edward the third held the crown by a parliamentary

title, as much as William the third. If we go

up higher than this æra, or descend lower, we snail find the examples uniform. Examples, sufficient to countenance this pretension of hereditary right to the crown of England, are no where to be found.

. The Britijh race began in Henry the seventh; and from him alone king James derived that right, which

: he asserted in such pompous terms. Now surely, if ever any prince came to the crown without the least colour of hereditary right, it was Henry the seventh. He had no pretence to it, even as heir to the house of Lancaster. His wise might have some as heir of the houseof York; but the title of his wise had no regard paid to it either by him or the parliament, in making this new settlement. He gained the crown by the good will of the people. He kept it by the confirmation of parliament, and by his own ability. The notional union of the two roses was a much better expedient for quiet than foundation of right. It took place in Henry the eighth; it was continued in his successors; and this nation was willing it should continue in James and his family. But neither Henry the eighth, nor his son Edtvard the sixth, who might have done so with much better grace, laid the fame stress on hereditary right, as king James did. One of them had recourse to parliament on every occasion, where the succession to the crown was concerned; and the other made no scruple of giving N 4 • * the

notions of the prerogative, and carried the


"the crown by will to his cousin, in prejudice of his "sisters right. This right however, such as it was, "prevailed; but the authority of parliament was called "in'aid by Mary, to remove the objection of Ulegitf"macy, which lay against it. Elizabeth had so little "concern about hereditary right, that she neither held, "nor desire;! to hold her crown by any other tenure "than the statute of the 35 of her father's reign. In "the 13th of her own reign (he declared it by law "hiih treason, during her lise, and a Piamunire, af"ter her decease, to deny the power of parliament, in "limiting and binding the descent and inheritance of "the crown, or the claims to it; and whatever private "motives there were for putting to death Mary, "queen of Scotland, her claiming a right, in oppoJi"ticn to an act of parliament, was the foundation of "the public proceedings against her.

"Such examples as we have quoted, ought to have

'' some weight with king 'James. A prince who had

"worn the crown of Scotland, under so many restraints,

"and in so great penury, might have contented him

"self, one would think, to hold that of England,

"whose pensioner he had been, by the fame tenure,

(t) Old- "and to establish his authority on the seme principles,

rnfrksS RC*" as "^ contented the best and greatest of his Predecef

24.,.' ' *' sors; but his designs were as bad as those of the very

See also the" worst princes, who went before him." (c) The good

ofthesuc-y''en^e anti "'answerable reasoning in this quotation will

cession, in make ample amends for the length of it, and therefore

the State needs no apology. Eut 'tis amazing to consider that

relating to notwithstanding such facts and reasonings there

thetimesof should yet be found people weak enough to hold this

Charles the doctrine of hereditary right, a doctrine absurd in itself,

lohnnHaw1 anci big with mischief. Did men but think and con

les's speech sider, did they weigh and examine, were fhey honest

»t the irjai and impartial, they soon would see its folly and ridicule «rajaChe* 'u But fucn ls tne laziness of mankind, that they are


doctrine of the regal power, [sss] to a pitch


at all times inclined more to believe on trust, than to take the pains to consider; and therefore run into the most whimsical and ridiculous opinions. Princes maythink it their interest to have such a doctrine as this inculcated; but the teachers of it ought to be looked upon as the foes of mankind, and had in abhorrence by those, to whom liberty and virtue are amiable.

[sss] lie entertained high notions of the prerogative, and carried the doctrine of the regal power to a very great pitch.] James, as I have observed, was bred up under Buchanan, whose hatred of tyranny is well known, and who, like a very honest mar, endeavoured to inspire his pupil with a detestation of it; and he seemed to have had some hopes, that his labours would not have been wholly vain. For in the conclusion of his short dedication to James, of his Baptifics, Jive cahmni tragœdla, among his poetical works, there are the following expressions: *• Illuda utem psculiarius ad te videri po

"test spectare, quod tyrannorum cruciatus, & cum '* storere maxime videntur, miseries dilucide exponat. ". Quod te nunc intelligere non conducibile modo, fed "etiam necessariam existimo : ut mature odisse incipias, "quod tibi semper est fugiendurn. Volo etiam hunc "libellum apud posteros testem fore, si quid aliquando "pravis confultoribus impulsus vel regni licentia rectam "educationem suptrante secus committas, non praecep"toribus, fed tibi, qui eis recte monentibus non sis "obfecutu?, id vitio vertendum efle. Det dominus "meliora, & quod est apud tuum Sulustium, tibibene *' facere ex confuetudine in naturam vertat. Quod e'* quidem cum multis & spero, & opto. Sterlino, ad ** Calend. Novembris, 1576." i. e. ** But this more "especially seems to belong to you, which explains the "torments and miseries of tyrants, even when they "seem to be' in the most flourishing state, which I "esteem not only advantageous, but even necessary for

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