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five persons to the council that will do it; it must be thoroughly done : — I hope the King will not have one that was at the giving such advice as we have had!" Lord liussell spoke with zeal and firmness regarding both the Succession and Popery. He ended, by desiring, "that a committee be appointed to draw up a bill to secure our religion and properties in case of a Popish successor." *
The motion made by Lord Russell, is a sufficient evidence that he was not yet convinced of the necessity of excluding the Duke of York from the throne. Temperate by nature, and not actuated by any personal feelings against the Duke of York, he probably wished to reconcile the King's interests to those of his people, in the manner most agreeable to the royal inclination; and if he was mistaken, we must admit his loyalty whilst we pity his delusion. His vote in the council was to the same effect; for various limi
* On the same day, an address to the crown was carried, praying that the King would give orders for the execution of Pickering, and other condemned priests. This wns a savage and inhuman request, as, with the exception of Pickering, the crime of these priests was no other than that of exercising their religious functions. The King desired time to consider of his answer. A message was some time afterwards brought down by Lord Russell, intimating, that the King would order the execution of Pickering, but that the rest were still before the House of Lords.
tations on a Popish successor having been proposed, some heads to be offered to the consideration of Parliament were at length resolved upon, and obtained the consent of all but Lord Shaftesbury and Sir William Temple. Shaftesbury declared openly, that no security was to be found but in the total exclusion of the Duke of York, who, by force of arms, might break through all the limitations proposed; whilst Temple feared they would leave him in shackles, which would not be easily broken through by any successor. Temple, indeed, was secretly of opinion, that no expedient proposed by the crown would be agreed to by the Commons. This was also the private opinion of the King, who, even at the moment of proposing the limitations, was resolved never to consent to them. * He came to
the House of Peers on the 30th, and, April 30. „ , , , _ ,
alter a short speech, left the matter to
be fully explained by the chancellor. The chief
articles he proposed were as follows. That care
should be taken, that all ecclesiastical benefices
and promotions in the gift of the crown, should
be conferred on the most learned Protestants:
That no members of the privy council, no judges
* At least he wrote to this effect to the Prince of Orange, who does not, however, seem to have given full credit to the King's assurances. Dal. App. S02. 307
of the common law, or in chancery, should, during the reign of a Popish successor, be put in or displaced, but by authority of Parliament: That no lord lieutenant, or deputy lieutenant, nor any officer in the navy, should be put out or removed, but either by Parliament, or by such persons as the Parliament should entrust with authority for that purpose.
On the 11th May this great affair
came into discussion in the House of Commons. The debate was opened by Mr. Bennet, who moved to make an address to the King, that the Duke might not come to England again without the consent of the King and the two Houses of Parliament. Mr. Pilkington "would humbly pray the King that the Duke "might come over, that they might impeach "him of high treason." Secretary Coventry and Lord Cavendish supported the limitations. Mr. Hampden and Mr. Boscawen spoke for the
exclusion. After farther debate it was
'resolved, "That a bill be brought in to "disable the Duke of York to inherit theimperial "crown of this realm." On the next day, in utter defiance of justice and reason, it was resolved, nem. con. "That in defence of the King's per"son and the Protestant religion, this House "doth declare that they will stand by His Ma"jesty with their lives and fortunes; and that if ." His Majesty shall come by any violent death, ** (which God forbid !) that they will revenge it <c to the utmost upon the Papists."
The important bill which was now brought in enacted, First, That the said James, Duke of York, should be incapable of inheriting the crowns of England, Scotland, and Ireland, with their dependencies, and of enjoying any of the titles, rights, prerogatives, and revenues belonging to the said crowns. Secondly, That in case His Majesty should happen to die or resign his dominions, they should devolve to the person next in succession, in the same manner as if the Duke was dead. Thirdly, That all acts of sovereignty and royalty that Prince might then happen to perform, were not only declared void, but to be high treason, and punishable as such. Fourthly, That if any one, at any time whatsoever, should endeavour to bring the said Duke into any of the fore-mentioned dominions, or correspond with him in order to make him inherit, he should be guilty of high treason. Fifthly, That if the Duke himself ever returned into any of these dominions, considering the mischief that must ensue, he should be looked upon as guilty of the same offence; and all persons were authorized and required to seize upon and imprison him; and, in case of resistance made by him or his adherents, to subdue them by force of arms.
It was read a second time on the 21st, the division being, yeas 207, noes 128*
Lord Shaftesbury lost no opportunity of forwarding the Bill of Exclusion. He represented to the honest, that thev never could- be safe under a Popish successor; and he hinted to the interested, that the Duke of Monmouth was in such favour at Whitehall, that the King only desired a fair occasion of yielding to the wishes of the Parliament. His credit grew so high with the Parliament, that Sunderland, Essex, and Halifax desired to admit him and Monmouth to the private or cabinet council: upon which Temple left them. But the three lords, finding that Monmouth and Shaftesbury would be satisfied with nothing less than yielding all points to the House of Commons, broke oft' with them, and concerted with Temple a prorogation of Parlia* ment. They reckoned to carry this measure in the council by the votes of the fifteen placemen, and such of the others who should join them against Shaftesbury and his party. But even this mockery of advice was afterwards said to be unsafe, upon the pretence that the King had discovered that new remonstrances were preparing upon the subjects of the plot May 27. Popery. He, therefore, went down to the Lords and suddenly prorogued the Parliament. "It passed," says Temple, ** with Vol. r. ,m