Page images

ments thereof, in presence of the council, one to be transmitted to the court of session, to be recorded in the books of sederunt, and afterward lodged in the public register of Scotland; the other to be entered into the council book, and remain among the records of council. He was then pleased to make the following declaration, which, at the request of the council, was made public:-“ Having, in my answers to the addresses of both houses of parliament, fully expressed my resolution to defend the religion and civil rights of all my subjects, there remains very little for me to say upon this occasion. Yet, being willing to omit no opportunity of giving all possible assurances to a people who have already deserved so well of me, I take this occasion also, to express to you my firm purpose to do all that is in my power for the supporting and maintaining the churches of England and Scotland, as they are severally by law established; which, I am of opinion, may be effectually done, without in the least impairing the toleration allowed by law to protestant dissenters, so agreeable to christian charity, and so necessary to the trade and riches of this kingdom. The good effects of making property secure, are no where so clearly seen as in this happy kingdom; and I assure you, that there is not any amongst you shall more earnestly endeavour the preservation of it than myself.” :

The same day the prince was, by his majesty's command, introduced into the privy council, as was also the archbishop of York, the earl of Nottingham, and lord Halifax. The great seal was, at the same time, delivered to William lord Cowper, the earl of Nottingham declared lord president of the council, the earl of Wharton lord privy seal, and the earl of Sunderland lord lieutenant of Ireland. John, duke of Marlborough, was, shortly after, made colonel of the first regiment of foot guards, master-general of the ordnance, and captain-general of his majesty's land forces. John, duke of Argyle, was appointed commander-in-chief of his majesty's land forces in Scotland, Charles, duke of Somerset, master of the horse, and the honourable Robert Walpole receiver and paymaster-general of all the guards and garrisons, and all other his majesty's land forces in Great Britain. The honourable James Stanhope was made secretary of state, in the room of Mr. Bromley, and the duke of Montrose, in room of the earl of Marr. The duke of Roxburgh was made keeper of the great seal of Scotland, in room of the earl of Seafield, and the marquis of Annandale lord privy seal, in room of the duke of Athol.

On the twenty-seventh his majesty, by letters patent under the great seal, was pleased to create his royal highness, George Augustus—formerly prince of Great Britain, electoral prince of Brunswick Lunenburg, duke of Cornwall and Rothsay, duke and marquis of Cambridge, earl of Milford-haven and of Carrick, viscount North Allerton, baron of Tewkesbury and Renfrew, lord of the Isles, Steward of Scotland, and knight of the most honourable order of the garter, prince of Wales, and earl of Chester. · The same day his majesty dissolved the privy council, and appointed a new one to be sworn in on the first of October. Many alterations followed, and a long list of promotions, which we pass over, as having but a slender connexion with our history. · All these arrangements being completed, the twentieth of October was appointed for his majesty's coronation, when all things being prepared, he proceeded, with the usual solemnities, to Westminster abbey, where the bishop of Oxford, in an eloquent sermon from Psal. cxviii. 24. gave a striking delineation of the dangers the nation had been exposed to through the malepractices of the late ministry, and a glowing picture of the benefits that might reasonably be expected from the happy accession of his majesty. After sermon, his majesty was crowned and anointed, in the usual manner, by Dr. Thomas Tennison, archbishop of Canterbury; and all present, being asked, did publicly acknowledge his majesty as their king, and promised subjection unto him, crying out, God save the king. “ The day of his majesty's coronation,” Rae, who was an eye-witness thereof, remarks, “ was observed as a day of solemn rejoicing throughout his dominions. Cheerfulness appeared in the faces of all his good subjects, who were now in the peaceable possession of a protestant king, to the great disappointment of the popish and Jacobite party."*

* Rae's History of the Rebellion, p. 103.

Addresses breathing the most ardent loyalty were presented to his majesty from all places of the kingdom. That from the royal boroughs of Scotland, before the Union the third estate of the kingdom, was particularly conspicuous for anticipating the preservation of religion, liberty, and presbyterial church government, as by law established, together with the prosperity of trade, in consequence of being freed from the encroachments and restrictions it had been laid under by destructive treaties of commerce, thus expressing the most decided disapprobation of the late pacification, and of the whole administration, as it regarded Scotland. The commission of the General Assembly of the church of Scotland, in addition to their address, testifying the most lively joy at his majesty's happy and peaceful accession to the crown, deputed, on this occasion, the Rev. principal Carstares, Mr. William Mitchel, and Mr. James Hart, ministers of the city of Edinburgh, Thomas Linning, minister of Lesmahago, and Mr. James Ramsay, minister of Kelso, to wait personally upon his majesty, and make known to him the great joy felt by the church of Scotland on account of his elevation to the throne of these kingdoms; the active part that church had taken to promote his interest; and the expectations she now entertained, not only of being safe from future encroachments, but of having those grievances, which her constancy to the line of succession in his family had been a principal mean of bringing upon her, speedily and completely redressed.* This deputation did not arrive in London till the coronation was over, but they were introduced to his majesty on the first of November by the duke of Montrose, when principal Carstares made a speech to the above effect, to which his majesty made a most gracious reply; and the whole deputation had the honour of kissing bands on the occasion. They were also introduced to the prince and princess of Wales, and were most graciously received by these august personages, who testified the most grateful .sense of the zeal and perseverance of the Scotish church, with regard to the protestant succession, and assured the commissioners that she might at all times depend upon their countenance and support.

• See Mr. Carstares' speech at length. Rae's History, &c. p. 108.

In the meantime, the tories finding themselves shut out from all participation in the favours of the new dynasty, were chagrined and enraged beyond measure, while their Jacobite brethren were reduced to the very verge of despair. They were not, however, idle, though the course of events, so exceedingly different from any thing they had calculated upon, unhinged all their plans, and rendered for a time, their utmost efforts abortive. It had been agitated among the leading tories, that they should wait upon his majesty, on his landing, in a body, with the ministry at their head, when they might be introduced to his majesty's special notice, by the lord chancellor, and, from their number and the respectability of their appearance, overawe the whigs, and secure with his majesty, that ascendency, which they had enjoyed with his predecessor. The lord chancellor, however, was under the necessity of waiting in his place, at the head of the regency, among whom there was a great majority of whigs. The tories found it impossible to keep together in the crowd, and were compelled to wait upon his majesty in the best way they could, or withdraw from the scene, which would have brought a suspicion of disloyalty upon their characters, which they were not willing to incur. - Disappointed in this first effort, they yet hoped, under the duke of Ormond, to succeed better next day; but here again they were equally unfortunate; for that very morning, his majesty, by the lord viscount Townshend, acquainted the duke that he had no longer any occasion for his services, as captain-general of the army, which dispirited the whole party, and the changes which followed in such rapid succession, left no room for their purposed exhibition.* Nothing, therefore, remained for them, but to submit quietly to the domination of the whigs, which pride, ambition, and perhaps conscience,t utterly forbade, or, by another powerful appeal to

. * Rae's History, &c. pp. 89-91.

+ Conscience is often ignorant, often erring, and as often as either, a mere pretence; but it is still true, that“ conscience is a sacred thing," and whatever is put forth under its name, deserves at least a hearing. “I never expect,” said one of these tory gentlemen," any thing but confusion, if the interest of the church, comes to be at the mercy of the low men and presbyterians, the latter of whom, I always looked upon, as worse than the papists ; nor let the

the church and the 'mob, bring themselves again into notice, though it should be at the expense of a general convulsion, and a civil war. Pursuing this plan, they were able, even on the day of his majesty's coronation, to create most serious disturbances. Armed with clubs, hangers, and in some places with swords, guns, and pistols, they attacked his majesty's loyal subjects, in the height of their jollity, many of whom they wounded, to the effusion of their blood, and the imminent hazard of their lives. At Bristol, they murdered a Mr. Thomas, outright, merely for attempting to persuade them to desist from their lawless and outrageous conduct. In contempt of the occasion, they put the Maypole into mourning at Bedford; and at Frome, in Somersetshire, they dressed up, and carried about in procession in a fool's coat, an ideot named George, for the same purpose.

The danger of the church, was again the pretence for all this outrage, and this danger was supposed to arise from the change which his majesty had been pleased to make in the members of administration. Nothing had been more strenuously insisted upon by the tories, during the last years of her late majesty, than the sacred nature of the royal prerogative, especially with regard to the choice of servants to the crown; but now that it was exercised against themselves, they seem to have had no longer any regard for it. Gentlemen were found heading mobs composed of the most desperate ruffians, taught again to re-echo the ridiculous cry of “ Sacheveral! God bless Dr. Sacheveral! down with the round heads! down with the whigs ! no Hanover ! no Cadogan! but Calvert and Clarges! no king William ! no traitor ! Sacheveral for ever! Who dares disown the pretender ?” There were even clergymen, who had the ropes taken from the bells of their churches, lest they should be profaned, by being rung in honour of his majesty's coronation; and while doc

low men ever pretend to blame us, if we join with papists against them, while they join with presbyterians against the church. Nay, though it were come to the naming of successors, if these men, or any they shall set up, take such measures, as I am satisfied will destroy the church, I freely declare myself, I'll be for any soccessor, rather than suffer the church to be overwhelmed with fanatics of any kind.”. The Two Nights' Court at Greenwich, p. 47.

« PreviousContinue »