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tion they observed, however, they did not derive all the advantages they might, at the time, have reaped from the project. Bishop Burnet has very justly remarked, “ If they had landed, it might have had an ill effect upon our affairs, chiefly with regard to all paper credit, and, if by this, the remittances to Piedmont, Catalonia, and Portugal, had been stopped in so critical a season, that might have had fatal consequences abroad; for, if we had been put into such a disorder at home, that foreign powers could no more reckon upon our assistance, they might have been disposed to hearken to the propositions that the king of France would probably have made to them; so that the total defeating of their design, without its having the least ill effect upon our affairs, or our losing a single man in the little engagement we had with the enemy, is always to be reckoned as one of those happy providences for which we have much to answer."
The parliament was prorogued on the 17th of April, 1708, and shortly after dissolved. Writs were immediately issued for new elections, and a proclamation, commanding the attendance of all the peers of North Britain, at Holyroodhouse, on the 17th of June, to elect sixteen peers to represent them in the ensuing parliament. In these elections, several of the most staunch Jacobites exerted themselves to the utmost, and in some instances were successful, particularly in the county of Edinburgh, where the famous George Lockhart, of Carnwath, was elected, in opposition both to the court and the Presbyterians, and which county he continued to represent, till the death of Queen Anne. In the main, however, the tories and the squadrone, + though they were united, did not succeed according to their expectations. Several of the tory lords, who had escaped being carried up to London, such as the earl of Aberdeen, the lords Saltoun, Balmerinoch, &c., under the influence of fear, going over to the side of the court, enabled the ministry, with a very few exceptions, to have the peers all of their own party. Among the commons too, many were
* History of his own times. * A party in Scotland, headed by the marquis of Tweeddale-they were called the Squadrone Volante, from their pretending to act by themselves, and to cast the balance of the contending parties in parliament,
glad to lie by for the time, lest prosecutions should be raised against them, for their behaviour on occasion of the late invasion, in consequence of which, the whigs were in many places, elected with very little opposition.*
The new parliament, in which, notwithstanding all the pains that had been taken to prevent it, the whig interest was still predominant, was assembled on the 16th of November, 1708, when there arose long and violent debates respecting the Scotish elections, in which several of the eldest sons of Scotish peers had been elected to serve for counties, which, as it was repugnant to the Scotish laws of representation, occasioned numerous petitions and representations. This was a privilege the Scotish peers were anxious to possess, and the ministry were perfectly willing to concede, as by managing the father, they supposed they might at the same time, manage the son, and so increase their influence in both houses of parliament at the same time. Aware of this, and greatly exasperated against them, on account of the part they had performed in the treaty of union, the Scotish commoners exerted themselves with unanimity and vigour, and by the assistance of the English tories, and some old acts of the Scotish parliament, confirmed the incapacity of the oldest sons of peers, in consequence of which, the lords Haddo, Strathnaver, and Johnston, and the master of Ross, were expelled, and writs ordered to be issued, for electing others in their room.t Petitions were also pre
* Lockhart Papers, vol. i. p. 294. † “ The Scots commons, to make good the incapacity of the peers’ eldest sons, did prove by acts of parliament, that none of the three estates could incroach, or be incorporated with one another; and for proving, that the eldest sons of peers were reckoned a part of the same estate with the peers themselves, produced an Act of Parliament, regulating the apparell of the several estates and ranks of persons in Scotland, in which the peers and their eldest sons are expressly declared to be one and the same state. Lastly, they produced two extracts from the records of the Scots Parliament, by one of which it appeared, that the lord Livingston, chosen and returned for the town of Lithgow, was, on a petition against him, declared incapable to be elected; and by another, that a wryt for electing a new member was issued, in the room of Mr. M'Kenzie, whose father, since his being elected to serve for some of the northern countys, had been created Lord Viscount of Tarbet.” Lockhart Papers, vol. i. p. 299.
sented to the house of lords, on behalf of some peers, complaining of undue returns, in consequence of the duke of Queensberry, who had been created a British peer, having assumed two votes in the election of the sixteen Scotish peers, a circumstance, it was contended, inconsistent with the privilege of peers, who are supposed to be equals. After a keen debate, the votes of the duke of Queensberry were set aside, though he was supported by the whole weight of the government. It was, at the same time, determined, that the noblemen confined in the castle of Edinburgh, on suspicion of being Jacubites, had a right to sign proxies, after taking the oaths to the gov
The Scotish members, peers and commoners, it may here be noticed, were divided into two factions, one headed by the duke of Queensberry, the other by the dukes of Hamilton, Montrose, and Roxburgh, who were supported by the earl of Sunderland and lord Somers. Queensberry was
Queensberry was in great credit with the queen, and his influence in elections was so great, that all offices in Scotland were bestowed according to his recommendation.
An inquiry into the state of the nation, suggested by the late attempt at invading Scotland, was such an obvious and easy mode of harassing the ministry, that it could not have been overlooked, even by a more feeble opposition, than that which was now growing up in the British parliament. This inquiry, besides tending to criminate the ministry, enabled the tories to make a vast parade about their own loyalty, and their great zeal for the interests of her majesty, which her ministers, they contended, had most shamefully neglected, by being utterly unprepared for such a formidable attack, though, as they attempted to demonstrate, perfectly aware that it was to be made. They also clamoured violently against the severity exercised, in apprehending persons of quality, upon pretended suspicions of high treason, while the real motive had only been, by confining these persons, to remove the possibility of their
* Somerville's History of Great Britain, during the reign of Queen Anne, p. 328. Macpherson's History of Great Britain, vol. ii. pp. 370, 371. Smol. let's History. Burnet's History of his own times, &c.
opposition in the elections that were just then coming on. Here, however, the Scotish tories, though extremely willing to forward the views of their southern brethren, were under the necessity of acting with great caution, knowing, that they were still liable to prosecution, for the part they had acted in that affair, and, however eloquently these charges were made, or, however plausibly supported, the house was so little disposed to find fault, that the inquiry ended in an address to the queen, containing resolutions, that timely and effectual care had been taken to disappoint her majesty's enemies, both at home and abroad.
Considerable wrangling was also occasioned, by an application from the Scotish merchants, for the drawback upon some salted provisions exported, which had been refused by the custom-house officers, on the plea that the salt had been purchased before the union, and, of course, that they could not be entitled to the drawback. Though this argument was very easily refuted, the drawback was not obtained without great difficulty; and from this circumstance it was inferred by Scotishmen, that England had no intention to further the trade of Scotland, except in so far as she could not possibly avoid it.*
Towards the end of the session also, a bill originated in the house of lords, intituled, An Act for improving the union of the two kingdoms, which occasioned much altercation. It related to trials for high treason in Scotland, which, by this act, were regulated according to the manner of proceeding in such cases in England. The Scotish members, especially the tories, who knew that it was intended for them, in case of another invasion by the pretender, contended, that it was an encroachment upon the forms of their law, and a manifest breach of the union, an encroachment which might occasion much inconvenience, and manifold hardships to many innocent individuals. It was, however, triumphantly carried, and received the royal assent; but, to palliate it in some degree, it vas followed, shortly after, with an act of grace, by which all treasons were pardoned, those excepted, which had been committed upon the high seas, which exception was levelled against
those who had embarked in the immediate train of the che valier.*
The union might now be said to be in a considerable degree consolidated, and Scotland, it was evident, had sunk into comparatively political insignificance. She was now, indeed, suffering many, if not all the inconveniences that had been predicted would most certainly flow from that measure, while as yet she was reaping none of the promised benefits. Trade was not only at a low ebb, but, in many instances, annihilated. Agriculture languished, and the great body of the people were pining in extreme wretchedness. The nobility, still devoid of patriotism or public spirit, steeped in poverty, and devoured with pride, were, one part of them, in characteristic meanness, courting, for the sake of places and pensions, the smiles of the English ministry, and another, who reckoned themselves patriots of the highest order, still more basely cringing to the French king, through the medium of the chevalier de St. George, and the few papists, with which, under the mock name of a court, he was surrounded, and with whom there was still carried on a most active correspondence.t One part of her constitution, however, the ecclesiastic, she had reserved entire, and by an article, imbodied in the treaty of union, it was declared unalterable. From the nature of this constitution, the parity of its ministers, the popularity of its forms, and the hold which it had upon the affections of the people, it could not fail to elicit consequences deeply affecting the interests of society.
A long train of adverse events too, had previously placed the Scotish church in circumstances of peculiar difficulty. For a period of twenty-eight years, she had not only been in the fiery furnace of relentless persecution, but had been, at the same time, assailed by all the arts of courtly duplicity and Jesuitical cunning. Ensnaring indulgences, craftily framed for the purpose of dividing and entrapping her members, and undermining her principles, had been in a variety of forms pressed upon her, in consequence of which, many had fallen from their
* Lockhart Papers, vol. i. p. 301. † Hooke's Secret Negotiations, pp. 190–203. Stuart Papers, &c. &c.