« PreviousContinue »
threatened by an invasion from abroad, in a defenceless condition."*
Both houses returned grateful thanks for his majesty's gracious communication, and assured him “ that they would with their lives and fortunes stand by, and assist his majesty in defence and support of his sacred person and undoubted right and title to the crown, in defiance of all his open and secret enemies.” At the same time they requested his majesty to issue, immediately, orders for fitting out such a number of ships as might effectually guard the coasts, and commissions for augmenting the land forces to whatever extent might be thought necessary for the general safety; and they assured his majesty, that they would without loss of time make ample provision for the maintenance of these forces both by land and sea.
A bill was the day following introduced into the house of commons, suspending the habeas corpus act in England, and an act of the Scotish parliament, 1701, entitled An act for preventing wrongous imprisonment, and against undue delays in trials, in as far as regarded treason, or suspicion of treason, till the twenty-fourth of January next. The same act empowered any lieutenant, or deputy lieutenant, or other magistrate, to seize upon all horses of five pounds value and upwards, found in the possession of persons whom they might judge dangerous to the peace of the kingdom, and to detain them for the space of six weeks. This bill was read twice the day it was introduced, a third time on the morrow, sent to the lords and passed there, and on the following day became a law, by having received the royal assent.t
A bill was at the same time brought into the house for encouraging loyalty in Scotland, but it did not become a law till the end of August, when the rebellion in that kingdom had been actually organized under the earl of Marr. This bill also contained a clause authorizing the calling in suspected persons, to appear at Edinburgh, or wherever it might be thought expedient, and compelling them to find security for their good behaviour. The following are specimens of the enactments of
* Rae's History of the Rebellion,p 169.
+ Ibid. p. 170.
this bill :-" If any of his majesty's subjects of Great Britain, having lands or tenements in Scotland, in property or superiority, has been or shall be guilty of high treason, by keeping correspondence with the pretender, in person, or by letters, messages, or otherwise, or with any person, or persons they know to be employed by him; or by adhering to or giving him any aid or comfort, in this realm or elsewhere, every such offender, who shall be thereof duly convict and attainted, shall be liable to the pains, penalties, and forfeitures, for high treason. And that all and every vassal or vassals in Scotland, who shall continue peaceable, and in dutiful allegiance to his majesty, his heirs and successors, holding lands or tenements of any such offender, who holds such lands or tenements immediately of the crown, shall be invested and seized, and are thereby enacted and ordained to hold the said lands or tenements of his majesty, his heirs and successors, in fee and heritage for ever, by sucla manner of holding as any such offender held such lands or tenements of the crown, at the time of the attainder of such offender. And that if any of these lands lye within any regality or constabulary in Scotland, they are thereby dissolved therefrom.
« And in like manner, all and every tenant, or tenants in Scotland, who shall continue peaceable, and in dutiful allegiance to his majesty, his heirs and successors aforesaid, bruiking and occupying any lands, mills, mines, woods, fishings, or tenements, as tenant or tenants, tacksman or tacksmen, from and under any such offender, shall, and are thereby ordained, to bruik and occupy all and every such lands, mines, mills, woods, fishings, and tenements, for the space of two years' crops, to be accounted from and after such attainder, freely, without payment of any rent, duty, or service, for the said two years or crops, &c. &c.
“And whereas there is reason to believe, that several persons, intending to commit high treason, or treasons, as aforesaid, have made tailzies, entails, and settlements of their estates, in favours of their children, or other heirs of tailzie, on conveyances, securities, or alienations, with a fraudulent intent to avoid the punishment of the law, due to the offences above mentioned: it is, therefore, enacted, that all tailzies, entails,
settlements, and conveyances, in favour of the granter's children, or other heirs of tailzie, or trust, securities, or alienations of any estates or inheritances made in Scotland, in the name of whatsoever person, or persons, since the first day of August, 1714, or that shall be made there in any time coming, by any person, or persons, who shall be convicted and attainted of any such high treason, or treasons aforesaid, shall be, and they are hereby declared void and null to all intents and purposes ; excepting such deeds, securities, and alienations, as have been made since the time aforesaid, or shall be made in time coming, for just and onerous causes, the said onerous cause being always otherwise instructed than by the writings themselves.”* This bill was very beneficial, not only for the government, but for many individuals, who, being taken up under its authority, saved not only their estates, but their lives, as we shall see in the sequel.
On the twenty-second of July, the fleet was ordered to rendezvous in the Downs, under Sir George Byng. General Earl, governor of Portsmouth, had a re-enforcement of two battalions sent him at the same time, a report having reached government of a design to surprise that important station. The household troops, three regiments of foot guards, and four troops of horse guards, were encamped in Hyde Park, under the directions of general Cadogan, the militia of Westminster ordered out, and the trainbands mustered, for the purpose of suppressing the riots, which had become so general and so alarming, and to take an account of all papists, reputed papists, and nonjurors, together with such strangers as could not give a satisfying account of themselves.
Fourteen officers of the guards, suspected of being in the interest of the pretender, were at this time dismissed, and their places filled up by others of more loyal character. Commissions were also issued, in compliance with addresses from both houses of parliament, for raising eight regiments of foot, and thirteen of dragoons, all of which, were levied almost upon the instant. A sum of money suitable for the main- : tenance of the whole, was granted by the parliament for one ,
• Rae's History of the Rebellion, pp. 208–210.
year, and for adding two companies to the Coldstream regiment of foot guards. All officers of the army, governors of forts, garrisons, &c. &c. were, ander pain of his majesty's highest displeasure, ordered to their respective posts, and all officers on half pay were, at the request of the house of commons, placed upon full pay, and at the immediate disposal of his majesty.
On the twenty-ninth of Jaly, all papists were ordered to remove from the cities of London and Westminster, and from every place within ten miles of either, by the eighth day of August. Papists and nonjurors were also ordered everywhere to be disarmed, and their horses above five pounds value taken from them and sold. The papists were also to be compelled to take the declaration against transubstantiation, and the nonjurors the oath of abjuration.
A bill was also passed for the further security of his majesty's person and government, and the succession of the crown in the heirs of the late princess Sophia, being protestants, and for extinguishing the hopes of the pretended prince of Wales, and his open and secret abettors; enabling his majesty to grant a commission to administer the oaths of allegiance, supremacy, and abjuration to all officers, seamen, and soldiers, and providing that the sum of one hundred thousand pounds should be given “ to any person or persons, natives or foreigners, who should seize or secure, alive or dead, the person of the pretender, whenever he shall land or attempt to land in Great Britain or Ireland, or any other his majesty's dominions."*
Besides all these precautions and preparations at home, his majesty was careful to secure the friendly co-operation of his allies abroad. On the first alarm of invasion, notice was given to the states general, and a formal demand made of the six thousand troops stipulated in the late treaty for the preservation and security of the protestant succession, together with a squadron of ships of war, should there be occasion for them, all which was cheerfully acceded to on the part of the Dutch government. Count Coningseck, whom the emperor of Germany had sent over to adjust some differences that had arisen
• Rae's History of the Rebellion, p. 171.
regarding the barrier treaty, also made offer, in name of his master, of a detachment of imperial troops to aid in the defence of the kingdom; but the danger was not thought so pressing as to demand such a measure, and the offer was politely declined. Two British regiments, however, which had been left by the duke of Ormond at the conclusion of the peace, and were now in garrison at Newport, were recalled, and their places supplied by an equal number of imperialists.*
We have already noticed the preparations in Scotland on the part of the Jacobites, nor were the friends of liberty and religion there deficient, either in zeal or in promptitude of action for their own safety, and the preservation of the established order of things. No sooner did the information of the intended invasion reach Edinburgh, than the few regular troops there went into camp. The trainbands were ordered to arms, and the city guard re-enforced. It was also resolved to levy four hundred men, to be maintained by the citizens, and commanded by officers appointed by the lord provost and magistrates, by whose orders their operations were to be directed. Two extensive associations were formed at the same time, whose patriotic and spirited procedure roused the energies of the welldisposed every where, and had the happiest effect in directing and sustaining public feeling. The original constitution of both these associations was nearly the same, only the members of the one, subscribed a sum of money over against his name, which the other did not; and both, for the satisfaction of one another, signed the following bond, before being admitted to the places agreed upon for learning the military evolutions :—“ We, the subscribers, do hereby mutually promise and engage ourselves to stand by and assist one another to the utmost of our power, in the support and defence of his majesty king George, our only rightful sovereign, and of the protestant succession, now happily established, against the pretender, and all open and secret enemies; for the preservation and security of our holy religion, civil liberties, and most excellent constitution, both in church and state.” Some time after, when their number was considerably increased, they divided themselves into companies,
* Complete History of tne late Rebellion, p. 6.