Page images

the articles as might secure their being rejected there in the end. Accordingly, lord Belhaven “ did protest in his own name, and in name of all those who shall adhere to him, that this act is no valid security to the church of Scotland as it is now established by law in case of an incorporating union, and that the church of Scotland can have no real, solid security by any manner of union by which the claim of right is unhinged, our parliament incorporated, and our distinct sovereignty and independency abolished.” This protest was adhered to by the prin cipal leaders of the party, who were decided episcopalians, and had English episcopalians been equally void of honour and conscience with themselves, their opinion had certainly proved correct, as was mournfully experienced when the party, many of them the same individuals, attained to a share in the government a few years afterwards. • The second article, which established the succession to the crown as the same was established in England, was, if possible, still more keenly debated than the first. The cavaliers here recurred to their old scheme of limitations upon the successor, suited as they pretended, to the state and circumstances of the country; and here, as in the case of presbytery, arguing in the very teeth of their known principles, they advanced, almost in their abstract forms, many of the boldest and most startling doctrines of liberty, not that they'really understood or relished these doctrines, but fearing that the English succession was to be adopted after all, they wished to extinguish the prerogatives of the crown out of hatred to Hanover, for if their darling James did not obtain it, the more contemptible it could be made, so much the better for them. They were on this occasion again supported by lord Belhaven, in the following singular strain of argument:-“ I desire,” said his lordship, “ to be resolved what are the motives that should engage us to take England's succession upon their own terms? Is it not strange that no answer should be given to this question, save that when you come to consider the rest of the articles, you shall be satisfied on that demand. This is a new way of arguing, my lord,-a method without precedent, transversing nature; and looks more like design than fair play. I profess I think the huge and prodigious rains that we have had of late, have either drowned out, or found out another channel for reasoning than what was formerly, for by what I can see by this new method, the agreeing to the first article shall be a sufficient reason for agreeing to the second, and the agreeing to the second for the third, and so for all. If there was ever such a farce acted, if ever reason was Hudibrased—this is the time. Consult all the treaties since the beginning of the world to this day, and if you find any one precedent, I shall yield the cause.

“ I shall instance, my lord, one for all, and that is the first and worst treaty ever was set on foot for mankind; and yet, I am sorry to say it, there appears more ingenuity in it than our procedure. When the ser. pent did deceive our mother Eve, be proposed three advantages before he presumed to advise her to eat the forbidden fruit. The first was taken from the sight, the second from the taste, and the third from the advantage following thereupon. That from the sight was enforced by a 'behold bow lovely and comely a thing it is,' it is pleasant to the eye

that from the taste, from a persuasion that it was good for nourishment, • It is good for food, that from the advantage, . It will make you wise, ye shall be as gods; therefore upon all these considerations eat.

“ Allow me, my lord, to run the parallel of this with relation to our procedure in the treaty. Upon the first account that our nation had of the treaty's being finished betwixt the two nations, people appeared all generally very well satisfied, as a thing that would tend to the removal of all jealousies, and the settling a good understanding betwixt the two kingdoms; but so soon as the articles of the treaty appeared in print, the very sight of them made such a change, as is almost inconceivable. They are so far from being pleasant to the eye, my lord, that the nation appears to abhor them. One would think, my lord, that it had been the interest of those who are satisfied with the thing, to have gone imme. diately into the merits of these particular articles which relate to Scotland, and to have said, Gentlemen, be not affrighted with their ugly shape, they are better than they are bonny-come, taste; come, make a narrow search and inquiry, they are good for Scotland, the wholesomest food that a decaying nation can take. You shall find the advantages--you shall find a change of condition-you shall become rich immediately-you shall be like the English, the most flourishing and the richest people of the universe.

“ But our procedure, my lord, hath been very far from the prudence of the serpent, for all our arguments have run upon this blunt topic. Eat, swallow down this incorporating Union—though it please neither eye nor taste, it must go over; you must believe your physicians, and we shall consider the reasons afterwards. I wish, my lord, that our loss be not in some small manner proportionable to that of our first parents ; they thought to have been incorporate with the gods, but in place of that, they were justly expelled paradise, lost their sovereiguty over the creatures, and were forced to earn their bread with the sweat of their brows."*

Such reasoning was certainly very properly met by a call for the vote, upon which it could not reasonably be expected to have much influence. Accordingly, the second article was carried with the same ease as the first, though it was protested against by the earl Marischal, in terms of the act of security, which had already provided, “ that no person could be designed successor to the crown of this realm, after her majesty's derease, and failing heirs of her body, and at the same time successor to the crown of England, unless, that in this, or any ensuing parliament during her majesty's reign, there be such conditious of government settled and enacted, as may secure the honour and sovereignty of this crown and kingdom, the freedom, frequency, and power of parliaments, the religion, liberty, and trade of this nation from English and foreign influence." The adherents to this protest were nearly, if not altogether, the same who adhered to that of the duke of Athol.t

The third article, which settled the representation of the kingdoms to

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

• Defoe's Minates of the Proceedings of the Scotish Parliament upon the Treaty of Union, folio edit., p. 63–65.

+ Lockhart Papers, vol. i. p. 181.

be by one and the same parliament, produced, on the part of the cayaliers, many sound and wholesome remarks, upon original contracts, constitutional and constituent rigbts, &c. &c. the one half of which, had they been previously reduced to practice, instead of the very worst, bad made Scotland the very best governed country in the universe; but excellent as these axioms were, there was not one of the whole party, Fletcher of Salton excepted, with whom they had practically the weiglit of a feather. They were in their mouths mere figures of speech, framed to embarrass, but not intended to instruct or enlighten their opponents, and serving to impress the unthinking part of the community with reverential respect for their talents and their patriotism. Popularity had from the first dawn of their expectations, been an object of their parti. cular attention, and every day brought new demonstrations how necessary it was to their success. Of course, the debate on this article was illuminated with prodigious flashes of seemingly disinterested feeling, and generous regard for the rights and privileges of all classes of the community, while, at the same time, it was darkened with the most hideous views of the tyranny and oppression that might naturally be expected from an English parliament. Nor was the article allowed to come to the vote, till the marquis of Annandale had entered a protest against it on the same grounds as the two former, but with the addition of “ its being ruinous to the church as by law established, and as what would in no degree answer the peaceable aud friendly ends proposed, but would, on the contrary, create dismal distractions and animosities among our, selves, and such jealousies and mistakes betwixt us and our neighbours, as would involve these nations in fatal breaches and confusions." This also was adhered to by the same names as the former two.*

Finding themselves thus completely over-matched in the senate, the cavaliers once more bethought themselves of calling in, from whatever quarter they could find it, some external aid—and for this purpose they adopted a measure, for which they found a precedent in the history of the minority of James V. This was to invite as many of the barons, freeholders, and heritors, as could be prevailed upon, to come to Edinburgh, that they might in a body wait upon the high commissioner, and by a prolocutor entreat his grace to lay aside the designed Union, at least, till they bad informed the queen of the present temper and disposition of the nation, and obtained an order for calling a new parliament, to settle the present disturbances, and provide against the calamities that were but too certainly to follow them. A request of this kind, backed with such numbers as they contemplated, it was presumable, the commissioner would scarcely take it upon him to deny; and though he did, it was resolved that a national address, representing the same things, should be drawn up, as Dumerously signed as possible, and forthwith transmitted to the queen. This project originated with the duke of Athole and Fletcher of Salton—was recommended by the duke of Hamilton, and generally approved of. Every individual of the party, of course, was employed to warn his friends to come speedily forward. Mr. Henry Maule was

• Lockhart l'apers, vol. i. p. 189.

chosen to be their prolocutor, an address was prepared to the queen, five hundred gentlemen were already come to Edinburgh, many hundreds more were upon the road, and to-morrow was appointed for putting the scheme in execution, when the whole was marred by the duke of Hamilton, who, except there was a clause added to the address intimating their being perfectly willing to settle the succession on the house of Hanover, absolutely refused to have any thing to do with it. The shock of an earthquake, or the bursting of a volcano, could not have had a more petrifying influence upon the party than this declaration.

The perpetual bustle they had kept up for so many years—the unwonted stretches they had made, and were now making, had all along for their principal object the exclusion of Hanover, and explicitly to declare for him in the very outset of their new career, seemed absolutely impossible. Violent altercation was the natural result, and several days were spent attemptivg to compromise their differences. Their friends from the country, in the mean time, living in town at a vast expense and doing nothing, began to be uneasy, many of them returned home, and the government, coming to the knowledge of the fact, issued a proclamation discharging all such assemblages, which, being approved of by the parliament, completely baffled the whole scheme. This proclamation was protested against by George Lockhart of Carnwath, and adhered to by the whole body of the cavaliers.*

By this time the parliament had arrived at the twenty-second article of the treaty, approving every article as they came along, and it was evident the whole would be very soon brought to a conclusion. All means that could be thought of had been employed to retard and to defeat the measure, but in vain, and further opposition seemed hopeless, when the duke of Hamilton convened the leading men of his party, and in the most moving terms, exhorted them to make one effort more to save their dying country. He then proposed that the marquis of Annandale should renew his motion with regard to the succession to the crown, which, it was not doubted, would be rejected, when a protestation was to be entered and adhered to by the whole party, after which, they were to withdraw in a body from the house, never to return. The national address formerly proposed, when the barons should have waited on the commissioner, signed by as many hands as could possibly be obtained, was then to be transmitted to the queen, which, his grace assured them, would induce the English to drop the union if would. He then presented the draught of a protestation, embracing generally all the arguments which had been brought against the treaty, which, with some hesitation, was finally agreed to. This protestation contained a clause in favour of the succession of the house of Hanover, on which account the duke of Athol refused to sign it, but he engaged to leave the house along with the party, and to join in all that should be afterwards thought to be necessary.

Every thing thus prepared, the next day, being the day appointed for making their last attempt to preserve the independence of the nation,

any thing

• Lockhart Papers, vol. i. pp. 203, 204.

was looked forward to with the deepest anxiety. There must have been by this time, however, a considerable change in the popular feeling, for it was thought necessary that a number of gentlemen, and of the better sort of citizens, should, on that morning, assemble round the parliament house, to wait upon, and to protect the separating members, in case they should be insulted and maltreated as they came from the house. Che important morning so ardently desired, at length came, but the resolution of his grace, the duke of Hamilton, failed; he was attacked with toothach, and refused to leave his lodgings. The reproaches and the despair of his party at length prevailed on him to go to the house, but no entreaty could prevail upon bim to enter the protestation, till the parliament had advanced so far that the attempt was considered hopeless, and of course was never made. This last disappointment completely disconcerted the wbole party, and it was the more bitterly regretted, when it was afterwards found, that if the protestation had been given in, the ministry had resolved to dissolve the parliament, and relinquish the union as a hopeless undertaking. *

The conflict may be said to bave been now at an end. The twentysecond article, though it occupied the house for three days, and was preceded by six protestations, was carried with little trouble. The remainder may be said to have been concluded without any opposition ; and when the earl of Seafield, the lord chancellor, signed the engrossed exemplification of the articles, he returned it to the clerk with this remark, “ Now there's ane end of an auld sang.”+ The parliament pro

• Lockhart Papers, vol. i. pp. 206—213.

Articles of Union between Scotland and England. The Articles of Union were agreed to on the twenty-second day of July, in the fourth year of the reign of Her most excellent Majesty, Anne, by the grace of God, Queen of Scotland, England, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. and in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and six, by the Commissioners Rominated on behalf of the Kingdom of Scotland, under her Majesty's Great Seal of Scotland, bearing date the twenty-seventh of February, in pursuance of the fourth Act of the third session of her Majesty's current Parliament of Scotland, in the fourth year of her Majesty's reign; and the Commissioners nominated in behalf of the Kingdom of England, under Her Majesty's Great Seal of England, bearing date at Westminster, the tenth day of April ; in pursuance of an Act of Parliament made in England, the third year of Her Majesty's reign, to treat of, and concerning an union of the said Kingdoms, which articles are, in all humility, to be presented to the Queen's most excellent Majesty, and offered to the consideration of the respective Parliaments of both Kingdoms, pursuant to the said Acts and Commissions. I. That the two Kingdoms of Scotland and England shall, upon the first day of May next, ensuing the date hereof, and for ever after, be united into one Kingdom, by the name of Great Britain ; and that the ensigns armorial of the said United Kingdom to be such as her Majesty shall appoint; and the crosses of St. Andrew ad St. George be conjoined in such manner as Her Majesty shall think fit, and wd in all flags, banners, standards, and ensigns, both at sea and land. II

. That the succession to the Monarchy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and of the dominions thereunto belonging, after her most sacred issue, and in default of issue of Her Majesty, be, remain, and continue, to the most excellent Princess Sophia, Electress and Dutchess Dowager of Hanover, and the heirs of her body, being Protestants, upon whom the crown of England is settled by an Act of Parliament, made in England in the twelfth year of His late Majesty, King William III., entitled, an Act for the farther Limitation of the Crown, and better securing the Rights and Liberties of the Subject. And that all Papists, and persons marrying, Papists, shall be excluded froin, and for ever incapable to inherit, possess,

enjoy, the imperial Crown of Great Britain, and the dominions thereuuto bo

« PreviousContinue »