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scheme into consideration, proceeded no farther on the subject, than to appoint in 1604, forty-four Evglish, to meet with thirty Scotish commissioners, to talk over the terms of an union, but without any power of establishing it.*
Loath to be baulked in a project upon which he had set bis heart, and wbicb be regarded as that which was to shed a peculiar glory over his bistory, James continued to press the subject with all the art, and with all the eloqueuce of which he was master, aided by that of Sir Francis, afterwards lord Bacon, but in vain. All he could obtain, after hectoring, in his usual style of arrogancy, both houses of parliament, was, in the end of the year 1606, an act for the utter abolition of all memory of hostilities between the two nations, and for repressing all occasions of discord for the time to come.t
Here the plan for uniting the two kingdoms rested till the year 1643, when the tyrannical and bloody proceedings of Charles I. induced the parliament of England with the convention of estates, and General Assembly of the church of Scotland, to enter into the famous Solemn League and Covenant, wherein by solemn oath, the two nations became bound to “ remain conjoined in a firm peace and union to all posterity.” This solemn agreement, however, was very soon broken by the duke of Hamilton and bis faction, who invaded England in 1648. He was totally routed at Preston, by the parliamentary army under Cromwell; and, with all that remained of his forces, shortly after made prisoner at Utoseter. Cromwell in return invaded Scotland, subdued, and, in 1654, incorporated it with the English commonwealth, in consequence of which, thirty members from that country were elected to sit in his parliament, which was summoned for the third of September that same year.
The unfortunate restoration of Charles II. and the measures consequent thereon, while they were intended to annul and to blot out all remembrance of these transactions, reduced Scotland to a state of dependance and slavery utterly unknown in her previous annals ; yet, even in this state of debasement, upon a bill being passed for embodying her militia in 1669, a treaty of union was supposed necessary to guard against the apprehended danger of the measure. Commissioners were accordingly appointed for both nations, and during the following year, their negotiations were carried on with vigour, and the treaty was considerably advanced. The Scotish gentlemen of that day, however, were men of complacent tempers, the symptoms of danger soon evanished, Charles and Lauderdale sat still at their cups, and the union was again laid aside. After this, the inroads of the clans, and the triumphs of Claverhouse, were sufficient to quiet all fears on the head of Scotish independency, till the arrival of the prince of Orange, and the Tevolution in 1688, gave her a breathing space, when, manifesting somewhat of her ancient spirit, her former actions came into remembrance, and a union was again proposed by king William, as that alone which could allay the beats and promote the happiness and prosperity of both dations.
• Imperial History of England, vol. ii. pp. 1, 9,
Never were the debasing effects of a long continued system of misrule exhibited in a more affecting manner than in Scotland at this time. Her nobility were almost to a man dipped in the iniquitous measures of the late reigns; they were needy, and of course dependant, and a great proportion of them looked to the restoration of James, and a return to his maxims of government, as the only means whereby they could attain to influence and emolument. These feelings, however, they, for the most part, attempted to conceal; and under the pretence of love to their country, and zeal for its liberties, thwarted, as far as was in their power, every measure that was in any degree calculated to extend or to secure these liberties. The presbyterians, who had the real welfare of the country most at heart, though they succeeded in having presbytery generally established—this being necessary to satisfy the body of the people were regarded by William and his ministers, who were generally episcopalians, with no friendly feelings, and, unable fully to perfect the work which they had begun, were deserted by many of their friends, and reduced to the necessity of purchasing one part of their rights by the sacrifice of others equally important, and to which they were equally entitled.*
While the natiott was thus broken hy faction, and borne down by tyranny in the government, a train of adverse events, or rather a series of mismanagements, afforded perpetual fuel to the angry feelings by which the nation was inflamed. The pensioning of the clans, the worse than brutal affair of Glenco, the cool and cruel extinction of the Darien colony, with the inextinguishable hostility manifested towards the African company, were all laid hold of by the Jacobites—who, claiming fellowship with the country party, and occasionally voting along with them, had become exceedingly popular—and held forth as undeniable proofs that England bad determined on the ruin of the Scotish nation. In consequence of these clamours, the Scotish parliament, in place of providing supplies for the necessary expenses of the government, and settling the succession to the crown in the protestant line, in unison with the English parliament, was chiefly occupied with schemes for securing the nation from the oppression of English counsels. For this pretended purpose was passed, in the year 1703, the so often applauded act of security, whereby a great many provisions were made respecting the mode of proceedure in parliament, in case of the queen's death, with the conditions under which the successor to the crown of England should be allowed to succeed to that of Scotland, which were to be, “at least, freedom of navigation, free communication of trade, and liberty of the plantations to the kingdom and subjects of Scotland established by the parliament of England.” It also provided that the whole protestant heritors, and all the boroughs in the kingilom, should forthwith provide themselves with fire-arms for all the fencible men, who were protestants, within their respective bounds; and they were further ordained and appointed to exercise the said fencible men once a month, at least. No
• Nothing can be more false and fulsome than the panegyrics, that, by presbyterian writers, have been often poured out upon king William, whose conduct towards the Scotish church was in many instances impolitic, unjust, and tyrannical.
clause of this celebrated act, however, is more remarkable than that regarding the successor to the crown, which declares that he shall be “always of the royal line of Scotland, and of the true protestant religion," which so evidently militated against the pretender, that it has been supposed to have been inserted by the influence of the duke of Hamilton, in order to secure his own succession to the crown, he being, after the house of Hanover, the next protestant heir. This supposition, it must be admitted, has been supported with great plausibility, and goes far to explain the hesitating indecision which afterwards, on 60 many occasions, marked the conduct of his grace ; yet it is still possible that he might have nothing further in view by the admission of this clause than the Jacobites generally had, which was to procure the support of the presbyterians, without whose aid they found themselves unfit to carry this or any other particular measure through the house. Nothing is more certain than that he had the instructions under wbich he was acting at this time, sent him from St. Germain's ; * and it would be but an ungrateful labour to prove so distinguished a patriot the detestable betrayer of two interests at the same time. Another remarkable act passed by this parliament, was that " anent peace and war;" w ich provided among other things, “ That after her majesty's death, and failing heirs of her body, no person, at the same time king or queen of Scctland and England, shall have the sole power of making war with any prince, state, or potentate whatsoever, without consent of parliament." To the first of these acts, the act of security, the royal assent was refused, but the last, in the hope of soothing the house, and inducing it to grant supplies, was passed apparently without any hesitation. A proposal for settling the succession in the house of Hanover, given in to this parliament, was treated with the utmost contempt-some proposing to burn it, and some insisting that the earl of Marchmont, who presented it, should be sent prisoner to the castle. It was at last thrown out of the house by a plurality of fifty-seven voices. That the movers of some of these measures, and a few of their supporters were really in earnest with regard to the liberties of the nation, we cordially admit-but the effective numbers were found among the Jacobites, who, strange as it may appear, were confident that in the end they should be able to improve them all for promoting passive obedience, and indefeasible hereditary right.
These violent proceedings on the part of the Scotish parliament, could not fail to alarm the English ministry, and particularly the queen, to whom it was proposed by the earl of Stair, that an English army should be sent into Scotland, and there maintained at the expense of England, for the purpose of keeping possession of the country during the remainder of her life, and that she should henceforth in that country call no more parliaments, an advice every way worthy of the projector of the butchery at Glenco, but an advice which her majesty had the good sense to reject. That she possessed ample resources in her kingdom of England to have carried through such a project, she probably did not
• Vide Stuart Papers, 1703.
need to be told, but it was utterly inconsistent with the maxims of her government, among wbich that of positive compulsion seems to have had no place, and it was equally so with the enlightened and philanthropic views of some of the principal of ber advisers, who, looking at the absolute authority acquired by the crown in that country since the union of the crowns, and aware, especially should it come into the hands of an able and ambitious monarch, of the dangers thence accruing to the liberties of England, had determined upon an union of the two countries upon such a basis as should at once create, if not an immediate unity of feelings, at least an unity of interests. Instead, therefore, of showing any thing like irritation at what had been done, the queen and her ministry bestowed honours and rewards pretty liberally upon all who had stood firm on the side of the court-made a few changes among the principal officers of the Scotish administration, and again convened the parliament. In consequence of these measures, a considerable number were gained over to the side of the court, but there was still a majority on the other side. The act of security was again carried through the house, and, in order to obtain, as has been alleged, a money bill, was now perfected by the royal assent. This has generally been considered as a blunder in politics, such as with regard to Scotland the English government had but seldom been guilty of committing. Perhaps it was so, but it was one of those fortunate mistakes that often serve a cause more effectually than the most deep laid and long matured schemes. Hitherto the most formidable opposition to the union of the two kingdoms had always been found on the side of England, and perhaps nothing could have so effectually prevailed upon her people generally to acquiesce in the measure, as the spirit and temper of Scotland manifested, especially by this act.
Whatever might have been the motive for passing the act of security, the English ministry showed themselves perfectly alive to what might be its consequences, by the measures they adopted with regard to the relative situation of the two nations, and aware that now they must either lose the Hanoverian succession in Scotland, enter into a war with that people, or grant them, according to their ostensible desire, a treaty, they began to think of an union in good earnest, though, at no previous period, could they have proposed it with so little hope of success. All possible preparation was of course made for carryiog forward the measure, without loss of time. The parliament, along with some acts, apparently hostile to Scotland, passed one, empowering her majesty to nominate commissioners, to meet with commissioners to be appointed by the parliament of Scotland, for that effect. The duke of Argyle, who was known to be a favourite with the presbyterians, was sent down as high commis. sioner, and the parliament of Scotland was by bim again opened with extraordinary splendour on the twenty-eighth day of June, 1705. A letter from the queen to the parliament was presented by his grace, in which she particularly recommended the settling of the succession in the protestant line, in preference to all other business, and next to that, the treaty of Union, with regard to which, she hoped they would follow the example of the English parliament, and towards which sło promised most heartily her best assistance. These measures the commissioner also, after the example of her majesty, insisted particularly upon in his speech, as expedients necessary for preventing that ruin with which they were but too plainly threatened. The first, the settling the succession in the protestant line, he observed was absolutely necessary for securing peace, and cooling down those heats which had with great industry, and with too much success, been raised among them. The second, the treaty with England, being what they themselves had often discovered so strong an inclination for, he could not suppose would meet with any opposition.*
Before entering upon the proceedings of this parliament, it may not be improper to mention that it was composed of four parties, the court party, the country party, the cavaliers, and the squadrone volante. The first of these were, for the most part, in the revolution interest, though a few of them were suspected, and most probably with justice, to have an eye chiefly to their own. The second were mostly presbyterians, and by the country in general, were regarded as men of probity, aiming, though they might sometimes be mistaken, sincerely to promote the best interests of their country. Through a defect of judgment, however, or the preponderancy of prejudice, they were often the dupes of, and voted to promote the measures of their bitterest enemies. They were headed by the duke of Hamilton, and Fletcher of Salton, both of whom, but especially the last, were strenuous advocates for liberty and independence. The third party consisted of a body of men who were episcopal in religion, and Jacobite in politics, and were distinguished by the name of cavaliers. They were decidedly hostile to the revolution, the present establishment of the church, and the protestant succession ; but they joined with the country party in their outcry of grievances, the decay of trade, the oppressive weight of English influence, and the want of patriotism and public spirit. In all their measures, however, they had notbing further in view than to disturb or delay the succession in the protestant line, and by this means to recommend themselves to the notice of the pretender, on whom they would willingly have bestowed the crown without any iimitations either with regard to liberty or religion ! The fourth pretended to be of no party, but to hold the balance between the others, whence they bad their name, but their object was only to make themselves of more consideration to the court, and so to be taken into favour upon the best possible terms, and, their mercenary motives being but ill concealed, they were hated and despised by all. Their leader at this time was the marquis of Tweedale.
When the house proceeded to business, the parties were shy of coming to a trial of strength, and three weeks were spent upon minor matters. When the settlement of the succession came to be discussed, however, the cavaliers proposed, and, with the help of stray votes from the other parties, carried a resolution against it. They also succeeded, settle where it would, in clogging it with a number of restrictions and limitations, which Lockhart, one of the most zealous of them, confesses they
• Lockhart Papers, vol. i. p. 115. Campbell's Life of John, Duke of Argyle, P. 89_93: