Page images
PDF
EPUB

days. He died at St. Germains in 1701. Thus terminated the house of Stuart,

IX. House of Drange.

1. William III. Prince of Orange, was born in 1650; created Stadtholder in 1672, and married to the princess Mary of England, (daughter of James II.) in 1677. He landed at Torbay, Nov. 1688, and was declared king of England in Feb. 1689. The abdication of James, and the succession of this king, from the most distinguished epoch in the annals of English history. This epoch is usually denominated The Revolution. It altered the line of succession, by a power immediately derived from the people. The means by which it was accomplished, without the effusion of blood, at least upon English ground, were as extraordinary as the importance of it was great, not only to Britain, but the cominon interests of Europe. - At the auspicious moment, when William III. gave his assent to the Bill of Rights, the fabric of the constitution was completed. The most valuable parts of the feudal system, and the recent plans of liberty, were consolidated into one consistent and uniform mass of jurisprudence. The privileges of the people, and the prerogative of the king, were weighed in the balance of justice. That the crown should never more be possessed by a Papist, was an important declaration made by the Bill of Rights. The king was invested with every power which his predecessors had exercised over parliaments, corporations, the army, and the navy, except the power of doing injury; and bis subjects were laid under those equitable restraints which were most consistent with rational liberty. To complete their independence, the privileges of Englishmen were not solicited as a favour, but asserted as an undoubted and inherent right. Allegiance and protection were declared to be reciprocal ties, and the dignity and honour of the king were interwoven with the security and happiness of his subjects. William II, reigued 13 years, and died in 1701, aged 52.

2. Anne, princess of Denmark, by virtue of the act settlement, and being the next Protestant heir to her father James II. succeeded king William in the throne. Her reign was distinguished by a successful war against France, in which John duke of Marlborough, one of the greatest generals, pot only of his age, but of modern times, defeated by an uninterrupted succession of victories, at the head of the allied armies of England, Germany, and Holland. the attempts of Louis XIV. to obtain universal sovereignty, He raised the renown both of himself and his country to the highest pitch of glory. This reign is also rendered memorable by the union of England and Scotland, in the year 1706, and their joint representation in the Parliament of Great Britain. Anne fell into a lethargic disorder, which carried her off the 1st of August, 1714, in the 51st year of her age, and the 13th of her reign.

X. House of Brunswick.

[ocr errors]

1. George I. Elector of Hanover, son of the princess Sophia, grand-daughter of James I. was proclaimed king of Great Britain; his mother, who would have been next in succession, having died but a few days before. The act of settlement, by which the succession was diverted from the son of James II. to the princess Sophia, was en. acted for the preservation of the Protestant religion. Equitable, mild, and prudent, he was the guardian of civil and religious liberty, and he derived great advantages from the sagacity and experience which he had acquired before he obtained the crown, and applied those qualities with success, to extinguish the flame of rebellion. He reigned 13 years, and died in 1727, aged 68.

2. George II. eldest son of the former king, in the early part of his life, fought under the great duke of Marlborough, and as a volunteer at the battle of Oudenarde, dis• played the hereditary courage of bis family, by charging the French troops sword in hand at the head of his squad

When king, he defeated the designs of his enemies to subvert his government, by the wisdom of his councils, and the valour of his son, the duke of Counberland. He was a firni supporter of the liberties of Britain, and the general interests of Europe. He closed a long and pros. perous reign, in the year 1760, aged 77, after a reign of 33 years, when the terror of his arms, the extent of his conquests, and the prosperity of his empire, bad made the naine of Britain renowned throughout the civilizied world.

ron.

3. George III. eldest son of Frederick, late prince of Wales, was born June 4, 1738. He was created prince of Wales 1751 ; succeeded his grandfather, Oct. 25, 1760, and was proclaimed the next day, He married Charlotte Sophia, princess of Mecklenburgh Strelitz, Sept. 5, 1761. George III. ascended the throne with great advantages. Being a native of England, the people were prejudiced in his favour. He was in the bloom of youth, in his person tall and comely, and at the time of his accession, Great Britain was in the highest degree of reputation and prosperity. He has distinguished his reign by making the judges independent of the royal will, as they are enabled to hold their situations for life; and has ever protected the civil and religious rights of his subjects from violation or encroachment. He founds his glory on the firmest basis, by reigning in the hearts of his subjects, and maintaining the most amiable and the best of all human characters, that of being--the Father of his people.

Commerce of England.

1. England was not of cousequence as a commercial nation, till the reign of queen Elizabeth. When that princess entered upon the government, the customs produced only 36,0001. a year; at the Restoration they were let to farın for 400,0007, and produced considerably above double that sum before the Revolution. The people of London, before we had any plantations, and when our - trade was inconsiderable, were computed at 100,000; at the death of queen Elizabeth they were increased to 150,000 ; and are now about six times that number. In chose days, we had not only naval stores, but ships, froin our neighbours. Germany furnished us with all things made of metals, even to nails. Wine, paper, linen, and a thousand other things, came from France. Portugal furnished us with sugars ; all the produce of America was poured upon us from Spain; and the Venetians and Genoese retailed to us the commodities of the East Indies, at their

own price. In short, the legal interest of money was 12 per cent, and the common price of our land ien or twelve years purchase. We may add, that our manufactures were few, and those few but indifferent; the number of our merchants very small, and our shipping much inferior 10 that which lately belonged to the American colopies.

2. The commerce of Great Britain extends itself ta every corver of the known world, and enabraces, every commodity that is either useful or ornamental. The English, manufactures have been estimated at the annual value of 63,600,0001. and supposed to employ 1,585,000 persons.

Of these the woollen manufactures are supposed to yield, iu round sums, 15,000,0001. tbe leather 10,000,0001.; the iron, tin, and lead 10,000,0001. the cotton 9,000,0001. The other chief manufactures, which yield from 1 to 4,000,0001. are steel, plating, &c. copper, and brass, silk, potteries, linen, and tax, hemp, glass, and paper.

3. From the States of North America are chiefly imported tobacco, rice, indigo, timber, bemp, flax, iron, pitch, and tar. From the West Indies, sugar, rum, cotton, coffee, ginger, pepper, guiacum, sarsaparilla, mahogany, gums, &c. From Africa, gold-dust, ivory, gums, &c. From the East lucies and China, tea, sugar, rice, spices, drugs, colours, silk, cotton, salt petre, shawis, and other products of the loom. From our remaining settlements in North America are insported furs, timber, pot-ash, iron; and from the various States of Europe, numerous articles of utility and luxury.

Princwal Trading Companies. 1. Russian Merchants. This company was incorporated in the reign of queen Mary; they were empowered to trade to all lands, ports, and places in the dominions of the emperor of Russia. This company does not carry on any trade at present, but private merchants who trade to Russia, niust be admitted into the company.

2. Turkey Company. This was incorporated in 1579, in the reign of Elizabeth, and their privileges confirmed and enlarged by James 1. They were empowered to trade to the Levant, or eastern part of the Mediterranean : particularly to Sinyrna, Aleppo, Constantinople, Cyprus, Grand Cairo, Alexandria, &c. This trade is also now laid open to private merchants upon paying a small consideration.

3. East India Company. Incorporated in the reign of Elizabeth, 1600, and empowered, exclusive of all others, to trade to all countries to the eastward of the Cape of Good Hope. In the year 1698, application being made to Parliament by private merchants, for laying this trade open, an act passed, empowering every subject of Eugland, upon raising a sum of money for the supply of the government, to traile to these parts.-Upon wlrich many persons subscribed, and were called the New East India Company. But the old coinpany being masters of all the forts on the coasts of ludia, the new company found it their interest to unite with them, and trade with one joint stock, and have been ever since styled the United East India Company. Their stock then consisted of 72,0001. when they tilted out four slips; and, meeting with success, continued to trade. . Iudia stock sold from 360 to 500 per cent. in 1683. In 1769, they agreed to give government 400,0001. per annum, for four years, on condition that they might continue uumolested. In 1773, they applied to Parliament for assistance; and judges were sent from England by government, faithfully to administer the laws there, to the company's servants, April 2, 1774. A Board of Control was instituted in 1784.

We have been favoured with the following particulars respecting the present state of the company's concerns. 1. Capital. The capital of the East India Company in March, 1810, was ....

£22,567,953 2. Customs and Excise.--These, on goods imported and

exported by the Company in the year ending
January 1811, were as follows:

Total Customs

759,595 Ditto Excise

3,453,830

£4,913,495 3. Imports.-Sale amount of goods imported from In

dia and China in the year 1809-10.
Company's goods

5,989,275 Privilege goods, i. e. the property of individuals unconnected with the Company

1,129,408 Goods, the private trade of the commanders and

officers of ships in the Company's employ .... 786,693 Neutral and prize goods

331,659 £8,237,035

« PreviousContinue »