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Title: Reasons against the Succession of the House of Hanover with an Enquiry - How far the Abdication of King James, supposing it to be - Legal, ought to affect the Person of the Pretender
Author: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Reasons against the Succession of the House of Hanover with an Enquiry - How far the Abdication of King James, supposing it to be - Legal, ought to affect the Person of the Pretender" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Steven Gibbs (1938-2009).

[Transcriber's Note: This e-book, a pamphlet by Daniel Defoe, was
originally published in 1713, and was prepared from _The Novels and
Miscellaneous Works of Daniel De Foe_, vol. 6 (London: Henry G. Bohn,
1855). Archaic spellings have been retained as they appear in the
original, and obvious printer errors have been corrected without








How far the Abdication of King _James_, supposing it to be Legal,
ought to affect the Person of the


_Si Populus vult Decipi, Decipiatur._


Printed for _J. Baker_, at the _Black-Boy_ in _Pater-Noster-Row_,
1713. [_Price 6d._]




What strife is here among you all? And what a noise about who shall or
shall not be king, the Lord knows when? Is it not a strange thing we
cannot be quiet with the queen we have, but we must all fall into
confusion and combustions about who shall come after? Why, pray folks,
how old is the queen, and when is she to die? that here is this pother
made about it. I have heard wise people say the queen is not fifty
years old, that she has no distemper but the gout, that that is a
long-life disease, which generally holds people out twenty, or thirty,
or forty years; and let it go how it will, the queen may well enough
linger out twenty or thirty years, and not be a huge old wife neither.
Now, what say the people, must we think of living twenty or thirty
years in this wrangling condition we are now in? This would be a
torment worse than some of the Egyptian plagues, and would be
intolerable to bear, though for fewer years than that. The animosities
of this nation, should they go on, as it seems they go on now, would
by time become to such a height, that all charity, society, and mutual
agreement among us, will be destroyed. Christians shall we be called!
No; nothing of the people called Christians will be to be found among
us. Nothing of Christianity, or the substance of Christianity, viz.,
charity, will be found among us! The name Christian may be assumed,
but it will be all hypocrisy and delusion; the being of Christianity
must be lost in the fog, and smoke, and stink, and noise, and rage,
and cruelty, of our quarrel about a king. Is this rational? Is it
agreeable to the true interest of the nation? What must become of
trade, of religion, of society, of relation, of families, of people?
Why, hark ye, you folk that call yourselves rational, and talk of
having souls, is this a token of your having such things about you, or
of thinking rationally; if you have, pray what is it likely will
become of you all? Why, the strife is gotten into your kitchens, your
parlours, your shops, your counting-houses, nay, into your very beds.
You gentlefolks, if you please to listen to your cookmaids and footmen
in your kitchens, you shall hear them scolding, and swearing, and
scratching, and fighting among themselves; and when you think the
noise is about the beef and the pudding, the dishwater, or the
kitchen-stuff, alas, you are mistaken; the feud is about the more
mighty affairs of the government, and who is for the protestant
succession, and who for the pretender. Here the poor despicable
scullions learn to cry, High Church, No Dutch Kings, No Hanover, that
they may do it dexterously when they come into the next mob. Here
their antagonists of the dripping-pan practise the other side clamour,
No French Peace, No Pretender, No Popery. The thing is the very same
up one pair of stairs: in the shops and warehouses the apprentices
stand some on one side of the shop, and some on the other, (having
trade little enough), and there they throw high church and low church
at one another's heads like battledore and shuttlecock; instead of
posting their books, they are fighting and railing at the pretender
and the house of Hanover; it were better for us certainly that these
things had never been heard of. If we go from the shop one story
higher into our family, the ladies, instead of their innocent sports
and diversions, they are all falling out one among another; the
daughters and the mother, the mothers and the daughters; the children
and the servants; nay, the very little sisters one among another. If
the chambermaid is a slattern, and does not please, Hang her, she is a
jade; or, I warrant she is a highflier; or, on the other side, I
warrant she is a whig; I never knew one of that sort good for anything
in my life. Nay, go to your very bed-chambers, and even in bed the man
and wife shall quarrel about it. People! people! what will become of
you at this rate? If ye cannot set man and wife together, nor your
sons and daughters together, nay, nor your servants together, how will
ye set your horses together, think ye? And how shall they stand
together twenty or thirty years, think ye, if the queen should live so
long? Before that time comes, if you are not reduced to your wits, you
will be stark mad; so that unless you can find in your hearts to agree
about this matter beforehand, the condition you are in, and by that
time will in all likelihood be in, will ruin us all; and this is one
sufficient reason why we should say nothing, and do nothing about the
succession, but just let it rest where it is, and endeavour to be
quiet; for it is impossible to live thus. Further, if Hanover should
come while we are in such a condition, we shall ruin him, or he us,
that is most certain. It remains to inquire what will be the issue of
things. Why, first, if ye will preserve the succession, and keep it
right, you must settle the peace of the nation: we are not in a
condition to stand by the succession now, and if we go on we shall be
worse able to do so; in his own strength Hanover does not pretend to
come, and if he did he must miscarry: if not in his own, in whose then
but the people of Britain? And if the people be a weakened, divided,
and deluded people, and see not your own safety to lie in your
agreement among yourselves, how shall such weak folk assist him,
especially against a strong enemy; so that it will be your destruction
to attempt to bring in the house of Hanover, unless you can stand by
and defend him when he is come; this will make you all like Monmouth's
men in the west, and you will find yourselves lifted up to halters and
gibbets, not to places and preferments. Unless you reconcile
yourselves to one another, and bring things to some better pass among
the common people, it will be but to banter yourselves to talk of the
protestant succession; for you neither will be in a condition to bring
over your protestant successor, or to support him on the throne when
you have brought him; and it will not be denied, but to make the
attempt, and not succeed in it, is to ruin yourselves; and this I
think a very good reason against the succession of the house of

Another argument relates something to the family of Hanover itself.
Here the folk are continually fighting and quarrelling with one
another to such a degree as must infallibly weaken and disable the
whole body of the nation, and expose them to any enemy, foreign or
domestic. What prince, think you, will venture his person with a party
or a faction, and that a party crushed, and under the power of their
enemy; a party who have not been able to support themselves or their
cause, how shall they support and defend him when he comes? And if
they cannot be in a posture to defend and maintain him when they have
him, how shall he be encouraged to venture himself among them? To come
over and make the attempt here according to his just claim and the
laws of the land, would be indeed his advantage, if there was a
probability that he should succeed; otherwise the example of the king
of Poland is sufficient to warn him against venturing while the nation
is divided, and together by the ears, as they are here. The whole
kingdom of Poland, we see, could not defend King Augustus against the
Swedes and their pretender; but though he had the majority, and was
received as king over the whole kingdom, yet it being a kingdom
divided into factions and parties, and those parties raging with
bitter envy and fury one against another, even just as ours do here,
what came of it but the ruin of King Augustus, who was as it were a
prisoner in his own court, and was brought to the necessity of
abdicating the crown of Poland, and of acknowledging the title of the
pretender to that crown. Now, what can the elector of Hanover expect,
if he should make the attempt here while we are in this divided
factious condition,--while the pretender, backed by his party at home,
shall also have the whole power of France to support him, and place
him upon the throne?

Let us but look back to a time when the very same case almost fell out
in this nation; the same many ways it was, that is, in the case of
Queen Mary I., your bloody papist persecuting Queen Mary and the Lady
Jane Dudley, or Grey. The late King Edward VI. had settled the
protestant succession upon the Lady Jane; it was received universally
as the protestant succession is now. The reasons which moved the
people to receive it were the same, _i.e._, the safety of the
protestant religion, and the liberties and properties of the people;
all the great men of King Edward's court and council came readily into
this succession, and gave their oaths, or what was in those days
(whatsoever it may be now) thought equal to an oath, viz., their
honour, for the standing by the successor in her taking possession of
her said just right. Mary, daughter of Catherine of Spain, was the
pretender; her mother was abdicated (so we call it in this age),
repudiated, they called it, or divorced. Her daughter was adjudged
illegitimate or spurious, because the marriage of her mother was
esteemed unlawful; just as our pretender is by this nation suggested
spurious, by reason of the yet unfolded mysteries of his birth. Again,
that pretender had the whole power of Spain, which was then the most
dreaded of any in the world, and was just what the French are now,
viz., the terror of Europe. If Queen Mary was to have the crown, it
was allowed by all that England was to be governed by Spanish
councils, and Spanish maxims, Spanish money, and Spanish cruelty. Just
as we say now of the pretender, that if he was to come in we shall be
all governed by French maxims, French councils, French money, and
French tyranny. In these things the pretender (Mary) at that time was
the parallel to our pretender now, and that with but very little
difference. Besides all this, she was a papist, which was directly
contrary to the pious design of King Edward in propagating the
reformation. Exactly agreeing these things were with our succession,
our pretender, our King William, and his design, by settling the
succession for the propagating the revolution, which is the
reformation of this day, as the reformation was the revolution of that
day. After this formal settling of the succession the king (as kings
and queens must) dies, and the lords of the council, as our law calls
them, they were the same thing, suppose lords justices, they meet and
proclaim their protestant successor, as they were obliged to do; and
what followed? Had they been unanimous, had they stuck to one another,
had they not divided into parties, high and low, they had kept their
protestant successor in spite of all the power of Spain, but they fell
out with one another; high protestants against low protestants! and
what was the consequence? One side to ruin the other brought in the
pretender upon them, and so Spanish power, as it was predicted, came
in upon them, and devoured them all. Popery came in, as they feared,
and all went to ruin; and what came of the protestant successor? Truly
they brought her to ruin. For first bringing her in, and then, by
reason of their own strife and divisions, not being able to maintain
her in the possession of that crown, which at their request she had
taken, she fell into her enemies' hand, was made a sacrifice to their
fury, and brought to the block. What can be a more lively
representation of our case now before us? He must have small sense of
the state of our case, I think, who in our present circumstances can
desire the Hanover succession should take place. What! would you bring
over the family of Hanover to have them murdered? No, no, those that
have a true value for the house of Hanover, would by no means desire
them to come hither, or desire you to bring them on such terms; first
let the world see you are in a condition to support and defend them,
that the pretender, and his power and alliances of any kind, shall not
disperse and ruin him and you together; first unite and put yourselves
into a posture that you may defend the succession, and then you may
have it; but as it stands now, good folks, consider with yourselves
what prince in Europe will venture among us, and who that has any
respect or value for the house of Hanover can desire them to come

These are some good reasons why the succession of the house of Hanover
should not be our present view. Another reason may be taken from the
example of the good people in the days of King Edward VI. They were
very good, religious people, that must be allowed by all sides, and
who had very great zeal for the protestant religion and the
reformation, as it was then newly established among them; and this
zeal of theirs appeared plainly in a degree we can scarce hope for
among the protestants of this age, viz., in their burning for it
afterwards; yet such was their zeal for the hereditary right of their
royal family, that they chose to fall into the hands of Spanish
tyranny, and of Spanish popery, and let the protestant religion and
the hopes of its establishment go to the d----l, rather than not have
the right line of their princes kept up, and the eldest daughter of
their late King Henry come to the crown. Upon this principle they
forsook their good reforming King Edward's scheme, rejected the
protestant succession, and they themselves, protestants, sincere
protestants, such as afterwards died at a stake for their religion,
the protestant religion; yet they brought in the pretender according
to their principles, and run the risk of what could follow thereupon.
Why should we think it strange, then, that protestants now in this
age, and Church of England protestants too, should be for a popish
pretender? No doubt but they may be as good protestants as the
Suffolk men in Queen Mary's time were, and if they are brought to it,
will go as far, and die at a stake for the protestant religion, and in
doing this, no doubt, but it is their real prospect to die at a stake,
or they would not do it to be sure. Now the protestant religion, the
whole work of reformation, the safety of the nation, both as to their
liberties and religion, the keeping out French or Spanish popery, the
dying at a stake, and the like, being always esteemed things of much
less value than the faithful adhering to the divine rule of keeping
the crown in the right line, let any true protestant tell me, how can
we pretend to be for the Hanover succession? It is evident that the
divine hereditary right of our crown is the main great article now in
debate. You call such a man the pretender, but is he not the son of
our king? And if so, what is the protestant religion to us? Had we not
much better be papists than traitors? Had we not much better deny our
God, our baptism, our religion, and our lives, than deny our lawful
prince, our next male in a right line? If popery comes, passive
obedience is still our friend; we are protestants; we can die, we can
burn, we can do anything but rebel; and this being our first duty,
viz., to recognise our rightful sovereign, are we not to do that
first? And if popery or slavery follow, we must act as becomes us.
This being then orthodox doctrine, is equally a substantial reason why
we should be against the Hanover succession.

There may be sundry other reasons given why we should not be for this
new establishment of the succession, which, though perhaps they may
not seem so cogent in themselves, have yet a due force, as they stand
related to other circumstances, which this nation is at present
involved in, and therefore are only left to the consideration of the
people of these times. No question but every honest Briton is for a
peaceable succession; now, if the pretender comes, and is quietly
established on the throne, why then you know there is an end of all
our fears of the great and formidable power of France; we have no more
need to fear an invasion, or the effects of leaving France in a
condition by the peace to act against us; and put the pretender upon
us; and therefore, peace being of so much consequence to this nation,
after so long and so cruel a war, none can think of entering upon a
new war for the succession without great regret and horror. Now, it
cannot be doubted but the succession of Hanover would necessarily
involve us again in a war against France, and that perhaps when we may
be in no good case to undertake it, for these reasons:--1. Perhaps
some princes and states in the world by that time, seeing the great
increase and growth of French power, may think fit to change their
sentiments, and rather come over to that interest for want of being
supported before, than be willing to embark against France, and so it
may not be possible to obtain a new confederacy in the degree and
extent of it, which we have seen it in, or in any degree suitable to
the power of France; and if so, there may be but small hopes of
success in case of a new rupture; and any war had better be let alone
than be carried on to loss, which often ends in the overthrow of the
party or nation who undertake it, and fails in the carrying it on. 2.
France itself, as well by the acquisition of those princes who may
have changed sides, as above, as by a time for taking breath after the
losses they have received, may be raised to a condition of superior
strength, and may be too much an overmatch for us to venture upon; and
if he thinks fit to send us the person we call the pretender, and
order us to take him for our king, and this when we are in no
condition to withstand him, prudence will guide us to accept of him;
for all people comply with what they cannot avoid; and if we are not
in a condition to keep him out, there wants very little consultation
upon the question, whether we shall take him in, or no? Like this is a
man, who being condemned to be hanged, and is in irons in the dungeon
at Newgate, when he sees no possibility either of pardon from the
queen, or escape out of prison, what does he resolve upon next? What!
why he resolves to die. What should he resolve on? Everybody submits
to what they cannot escape. People! people! if ye cannot resist the
French king, ye must submit to a French pretender. There is no more to
be said about that. 3. Then some allies, who it might be thought would
be able to lend you some help in such a case as this is, may pretend
to be disgusted at former usage, and say they were abandoned and
forsaken in their occasion by us, and they will not hazard for a
nation who disobliged them so much before, and from whom they have not
received suitable returns for the debt of the revolution. And if these
nations should take things so ill as to refuse their aid and
assistance in a case of so much necessity as that of the succession,
how shall we be able to maintain that attempt? And, as before, an
attempt of that, or any other kind like that, is better unmade than
ineffectually made. 4. Others add a yet farther reason of our probable
inability in such a case, viz., that the enemies of Britain have so
misrepresented things to some of the neighbouring nations, our good
friends and allies, as if we Britons had betrayed the protestant
interest, and not acted faithfully to our confederacies and alliances,
in which our reputation, it is pretended, has suffered so much, as not
to merit to be trusted again in like cases, or that it should be safe
to depend upon our most solemn engagements. This, though it is
invidious and harsh, yet if there may be any truth in it, as we hope
there is not, may be added as a very good reason, why, after this war
is over, we may be in no good case at all to undertake or to carry on
a new war in defence of the new protestant succession, when it may
come to be necessary so to do. Since, then, the succession of Hanover
will necessarily involve us in a new war against France, and for the
reasons above, if they are allowed to be good reasons, we may not be
in a condition to carry on that war, is not this a good reason why we
should not in our present circumstances be for that succession? Other
reasons may be taken from the present occasion the nation may lie
under of preserving and securing the best administration of things
that ever this nation was under in many ages; and if this be found to
be inconsistent with the succession of Hanover, as some feign, it is
hoped none will say but we ought to consider what we do; if the
succession of Hanover is not consistent with these things, what reason
have we to be for the said succession, till that posture of things be
arrived when that inconsistency may be removed? And now, people of
Britain! be your own judges upon what terms you can think it
reasonable to insist any longer upon this succession. I do not contend
that it is not a lawful succession, a reasonable succession, an
established succession, nay, a sworn succession; but if it be not a
practicable succession, and cannot be a peaceable succession; if peace
will not bring him in, and war cannot, what must we do? It were much
better not to have it at all, than to have it and ruin the kingdom,
and ruin those that claim it at the same time.

But yet I have other reasons than these, and more cogent ones; learned
men say, some diseases in nature are cured by antipathies, and some
by sympathies; that the enemies of nature are the best preservatives
of nature; that bodies are brought down by the skill of the physician
that they may the better be brought up, made sick to be made well, and
carried to the brink of the grave in order to be kept from the grave;
for these reasons, and in order to these things, poisons are
administered for physic; or amputations in surgery, the flesh is cut
that it may heal; an arm laid open that it may close with safety; and
these methods of cure are said to be the most certain as well as most
necessary in those particular cases, from whence it is become a
proverbial saying in physic, desperate diseases must have desperate
remedies. Now it is very proper to inquire in this case whether the
nation is not in such a state of health at this time, that the coming
of the pretender may not be of absolute necessity, by way of cure of
such national distempers which now afflict us, and that an effectual
cure can be wrought no other way? If upon due inquiry it should appear
that we are not fit to receive such a prince as the successor of the
house of Hanover is, that we should maltreat and abuse him if he were
here, and that there is no way for us to learn the true value of a
protestant successor so well as by tasting a little what a popish
pretender is, and feeling something of the great advantages that may
accrue to us by the superiority of a Jacobite party; if the disease of
stupidity has so far seized us that we are to be cured only by poisons
and fermentations; if the wound is mortified, and nothing but deep
incisions, amputations, and desperate remedies must be used; if it
should be necessary thus to teach us the worth of things by the want
of them; and there is no other way to bring the nation to its senses;
why, what can be then said against the pretender? Even let him come
that we may see what slavery means, and may inquire how the chains of
French galleys hang about us, and how easy wooden shoes are to walk
in; for no experience teaches so well as that we buy dearest, and pay
for with the most smart.

I think this may pass for a very good reason against the protestant
succession; nothing is surer than that the management of King Charles
II. and his late brother, were the best ways the nation could ever
have taken to bring to pass the happy revolution; yet these
afflictions to the island were not joyous, but grievous, for the time
they remained, and the poor kingdoms suffered great convulsions; but
what weighs that if these convulsions are found to be necessary to a
cure? If the physicians prescribe a vomit for the cure of any
particular distemper, will the patient complain of being made sick?
No, no; when you begin to be sick, then we say, Oh, that is right, and
then the vomit begins to work; and how shall the island of Britain
spew out all the dregs and filth the public digesture has contracted,
if it be not made sick with some French physic? If you give good
nourishing food upon a foul stomach, you cause that wholesome food to
turn into filth, and instead of nourishing the man, it nourishes
diseases in the man, till those diseases prove his destruction, and
bring him to the grave. In like manner, if you will bring the
protestant successor into the government before that government have
taken some physic to cleanse it from the ill digesture it may have
been under, how do we know but the diseases which are already begun in
the constitution may not be nourished and kept up, till they may
hereafter break out in the days of our posterity, and prove mortal to
the nation. Wherefore should we desire the protestant successor to
come in upon a foot of high-flying menage, and be beholden for their
establishment to those who are the enemies of the constitution? Would
not this be to have in time to come the successors of that house be
the same thing as the ages passed have already been made sick of, and
made to spew out of the government? Are not any of these
considerations enough to make any of us averse to the protestant
succession? No, no; let us take a French vomit first, and make us
sick, that we may be well, and may afterwards more effectually have
our health established.

The pretender will no doubt bring us good medicines, and cure us of
all our hypochondriac vapours that now make us so giddy. But, say
some, he will bring popery in upon us; popery, say you! alas! it is
true, popery is a sad thing, and that, say some folk, ought to have
been thought on before now; but suppose then this thing called popery!
How will it come in? Why, say the honest folk, the pretender is a
papist, and if a popish prince come upon the throne we shall have
popery come in upon us without fail. Well, well, and what hurt will
this be to you? May not popery be very good in its kind? What if this
popery, like the vomit made of poison, be the only physic that can
cure you? If this vomit make you spew out your filth, your tory filth,
your idolatrous filth, your tyrannic filth, and restore you to your
health, shall it not be good for you? Where pray observe in the
allegory of physic; you heard before when you take a vomit, the physic
given you to vomit is always something contrary to nature, something
that if taken in quantity would destroy; but how does it operate? It
attacks nature, and puts her upon a ferment to cast out what offends
her; but remark it, I pray, when the patient vomits, he always vomits
up the physic and the filth together; so, if the nation should take a
vomit of popery, as when the pretender comes most certain it is that
this will be the consequence, they will vomit up the physic and the
filth together; the popery and the pretender will come all up again,
and all the popish, arbitrary, tyrannical filth, which has offended
the stomach of the nation so long, and ruined its digesture, it will
all come up together; one vomit of popery will do us all a great deal
of good, for the stomach of the constitution is marvellous foul.
Observe, people! this is no new application; the nation has taken a
vomit of this kind before now, as in Queen Mary I.'s time; the
reformation was not well chewed, and being taken down whole, did not
rightly digest, but left too much crudity in the stomach, from whence
proceeded ill nourishment, bad blood, and a very ill habit of body in
the constitution; witness the distemper which seized the Gospellers in
Suffolk, who being struck with an epilepsy or dead palsy in the better
half of their understanding, to wit, the religious and zealous part,
took up arms for a popish pretender, against the protestant successor,
upon the wild-headed whimsey of the right line being _jure divino_.
Well, what followed, I pray? Why, they took a vomit of popery; the
potion indeed was given in a double vehicle, viz., of fagots a little
inflamed, and this worked so effectually, that the nation having
vomited, brought up all the filth of the stomach, and the foolish
notion of hereditary right, spewed out popery also along with it. Thus
was popery, and fire and fagot, the most effectual remedy to cure the
nation of all its simple diseases, and to settle and establish the
protestant reformation; and why then should we be so terrified with
the apprehensions of popery? Nay, why should we not open our eyes and
see how much to our advantage it may be in the next reign to have
popery brought in, and to that end the pretender set up, that he may
help us to this most useful dose of physic? These are some other of
my reasons against the protestant succession; I think they cannot be
mended; it may perhaps be thought hard of that we should thus seem to
make light of so terrible a thing as popery, and should jest with the
affair of the protestants; no, people! no; this is no jest,--taking
physic is no jest at all; for it is useful many ways, and there is no
keeping the body in health without it; for the corruption of politic
constitutions are as gross and as fatal as those of human bodies, and
require as immediate application of medicines. And why should you
people of this country be so alarmed, and seem so afraid of this thing
called popery, when it is spoken of in intelligible terms, since you
are not afraid alternately to put your hands to those things which as
naturally tend in themselves to bring it upon you, as clouds tend to
rain, or smoke to fire; what does all your scandalous divisions, your
unchristian quarrellings, your heaping up reproaches, and loading each
other with infamy, and with abominable forgeries, what do these tend
to but to popery? If it should be asked how have these any such
reference? the question is most natural from the premises. If
divisions weaken the nation; if whig and tory, even united, are, and
have been, weak enough to keep out popery, surely then widening the
unnatural breaches, and inflaming things between them to implacable
and irreconcileable breaches, must tend to overthrow the protestant
kingdom, which, as our ever blessed Saviour said, _when divided
against itself cannot stand_. Besides, are not your breaches come up
to that height already as to let any impartial bystander see that
popery must be the consequences? Do not one party say openly, they had
rather be papists than presbyterians; that they would rather go to
mass than to a meeting-house; and are they not to that purpose, all of
them who are of that height, openly joined with the jacobites in the
cause of popery? On the other hand, are not the presbyterians in
Scotland so exasperated at having the abjuration oath imposed upon
them, contrary, as they tell us, to their principles, that they care
not if he, or any else, would come now and free them from that yoke?
What is all this but telling us plainly that the whole nation is
running into popery and the pretender? Why then, while you are
obliquely, and by consequences, joining your hands to bring in popery,
why, O distracted folk! should you think it amiss to have me talk of
doing it openly and avowedly? Better is open enmity than secret
guile; better is it to talk openly, and profess openly, for popery,
that you may see the shape and real picture of it, than pretend strong
opposition of it, and be all at the same time putting your hands to
the work, and pulling it down upon yourselves with all your might.

But here comes an objection in our way, which, however weighty, we
must endeavour to get over, and this is, what becomes of the
abjuration? If the pretender comes in we are all perjured, and we
ought to be all unanimous for the house of Hanover, because we are all
perjured if we are for the pretender. Perjured, say ye! Ha! why, do
all these people say we are perjured already? Nay, one, two, three, or
four times? What signify oaths and abjurations in a nation where the
parliament can make an oath to-day, and punish a man for keeping it
to-morrow! Besides, taking oaths without examination, and breaking
them without consideration, hath been so much a practice, and the date
of its original is so far back, that none, or but very few, know where
to look for it; nay, have we not been called in the vulgar dialect of
foreign countries "the swearing nation"? Note, we do not say the
forsworn nation; for whatever other countries say of us, it is not
meet we should say so of ourselves; but as to swearing and
forswearing, associating and abjuring, there are very few without sin
to throw the first stone, and therefore we may be the less careful to
answer in this matter: it is evident that the friends of the pretender
cannot blame us; for have not the most professed jacobites all over
the nation taken this abjuration? Nay, when even in their hearts they
have all the while resolved to be for the pretender? Not to instance
in the swearing in all ages to and against governments, just as they
were or were not, in condition to protect us, or keep others out of
possession; but we have a much better way to come off this than that,
and we doubt not to clear the nation of perjury, by declaring the
design, true intent, and meaning of the thing itself; for the good or
evil of every action is said to lie in the intention; if then we can
prove the bringing in the pretender to be done with a real intention
and sincere desire to keep him out, or, as before, to spew him out; if
we bring in popery with an intention and a sincere design to establish
the protestant religion; if we bring in a popish prince with a single
design the firmer and better to fix and introduce the protestant
Hanover succession; if, I say, these things are the true intent and
meaning, and are at the bottom of all our actions in this matter, pray
how shall we be said to be perjured, or to break in upon the
abjuration, whose meaning we keep, whatever becomes of the literal
part of it. Thus we are abundantly defended from the guilt of perjury,
because we preserve the design and intention upright and entire for
the house of Hanover; though as the best means to bring it to pass we
think fit to bring in popery and the pretender: but yet farther, to
justify the lawfulness and usefulness of such kind of methods, we may
go back to former experiments of the same case, or like cases, for
nothing can illustrate such a thing so aptly, as the example of
eminent men who have practised the very same things in the same or
like cases, and more especially when that practice has been made use
of by honest men in an honest cause, and the end been crowned with
success. This eminent example was first put in practice by the late
famous Earl of Sunderland, in the time of King James II., and that too
in the case of bringing popery into England, which is the very
individual article before us. This famous politician, if fame lies
not, turned papist himself, went publicly to mass, advised and
directed all the forward rash steps that King James afterwards took
towards the introducing of popery into the nation; if he is not
slandered, it was he advised the setting up of popish chapels and
mass-houses in the city of London, and in the several principal towns
of this nation; the invading the right of corporations, courts of
justice, universities, and, at last, the erecting the high commission
court, to sap the foundations of the church; and many more of the
arbitrary steps which that monarch took for the ruin of the protestant
religion, as he thought, were brought about by this politic earl,
purely with design, and as the only effectual means to ruin the popish
schemes, and bring about the establishment of the protestant religion
by the revolution; and, as experience after made it good, he alone was
in the right, and it was the only way left, the only step that could
be taken, though at first it made us all of the opinion the man was
going the ready way to ruin his country, and that he was selling us to
popery and Rome. This was exactly our case; the nation being sick of a
deadly, and otherwise incurable disease, this wise physician knew that
nothing but a medicine made up of deadly poison, that should put the
whole body into convulsions, and make it cast up the dregs of the
malady, would have any effect; and so he applied himself accordingly
to such a cure; he brought on popery to the very door; he caused the
nation to swallow as much of it as he thought was enough to make her
as sick as a horse, and then he foresaw she would spew up the disease
and the medicine together; the potion of popery he saw would come up
with it, and so it did. If this be our case now, then it may be true
that bringing the pretender is the only way to establish the
protestant succession; and upon such terms, and such only, I declare
myself for the pretender. If any sort of people are against the
succession of the house of Hanover on any other accounts, and for
other reasons, it may not be amiss to know some of them, and a little
to recommend them to those who have a mind to be for him, but well
know not wherefore or why they are so inclined. 1. Some being
instructed to have an aversion to all foreign princes or families, are
against the succession of the princes of Hanover, because, as they are
taught to say, they are Dutchmen; now, though it might as well be said
of the pretender that he is a Frenchman, yet that having upon many
accounts been made more familiar to them of late, and the name of a
Dutch king having a peculiar odium left upon it, by the grievances of
the late King William's reign, they can by no means think of another
Dutch succession without abhorrence; nay, the aversion is so much
greater than their aversions to popery, that they can with much more
satisfaction entertain the notion of a popish French pretender than of
the best protestant in the world, if he hath anything belonging to him
that sounds like a Dutchman; and this is some people's reason against
the Hanover succession; a reason which has produced various effects in
the world since the death of that prince, even to creating national
antipathies in some people to the whole people of Holland, and to wish
us involved in a war with the Dutch without any foundation of a
quarrel with them, or any reason for those aversions; but these things
opening a scene which relates to things farther back than the subject
we are now upon, we omit them here for brevity sake, and to keep more
closely to the thing in hand at this time. Others have aversions to
the Hanover succession as it is the effect of the revolution, and as
it may reasonably be supposed to favour such principles as the
revolution was brought about by, and has been the support of, viz.,
principles of liberty, justice, rights of parliaments, the people's
liberties, free possession of property, and such like; these
doctrines, a certain party in this nation have always to their utmost
opposed, and have given us reason to believe they hate and abhor them,
and for this reason they cannot be supposed to appear forward for the
Hanover succession; to these principles have been opposed the more
famous doctrines of passive obedience, absolute will, indefeasible
right, the _jus divinum_ of the line of princes, hereditary right, and
such like; these, as preached up by that eminent divine, Dr. Henry
Sacheverell, are so much preferable to the pretences of liberty and
constitution, the old republican notions of the whigs, that they
cannot but fill these people with hatred against all those that would
pretend to maintain the foundation we now stand upon, viz., the
revolution; and this is their reason against the Hanover succession,
which they know would endeavour to do so.

Come we in the conclusion of this great matter to one great and main
reason, which they say prevails with a great part of the nation at
this time to be for the pretender, and which many subtle heads and
industrious hands are now busily employed all over the kingdom to
improve in the minds of the common people, this is the opinion of the
legitimacy of the birth of the pretender; it seems, say these men,
that the poor commons of Britain have been all along imposed upon to
believe that the person called the pretender was a spurious birth, a
child fostered upon the nation by the late king and queen; this
delusion was carried on, say they, by the whigs in King William's
time, and a mighty stir was made of it to possess the rabbles in
favour of the revolution, but nothing was ever made of it; King
William, say they, promised in his declaration to have it referred to
the decision of the English parliament, but when he obtained the crown
he never did anything that way more than encourage the people to
spread the delusion by scurrilous pamphlets to amuse the poor commons;
have them take a thing for granted which could have no other thing
made of it; and so the judging of it in parliament was made a sham
only; and the people drinking in the delusion, as they who were in the
plot desired, it has passed ever since as if the thing had been
sufficiently proved. Now upon a more sedate considering the matter,
say they, the case is clear that this person is the real son of King
James, and the favourers of the revolution go now upon another
foundation, viz., the powers of parliaments to limit the succession;
and that succession being limited upon King James's abdication, which
they call voluntary; so that now, say they, the question about the
legitimacy of the person called the pretender is over, and nothing now
is to be said of it; that he is the son of King James, there is, say
they, no more room to doubt, and therefore the doctrine of hereditary
right taking place, as the ancient professed doctrine of the Church of
England, there can be no objection against his being our lawful king;
and it is contrary to the said Church of England doctrine to deny it.
This, then, is the present reason which the poor ignorant people are
taught to give why they are against the protestant succession, and why
they are easily persuaded to come into the new scheme of a popish
pretender, though at the same time they are all heartily against
popery as much as ever.

It becomes necessary now to explain this case a little to the
understanding of the common people, and let them know upon what
foundation the right of these two parties is founded, and if this be
done with plainness and clearness, as by the rights and laws of
Englishmen and Britons appertaineth, the said commons of Britain may
soon discover whether the succession of the house of Hanover, or the
claim of the person called the pretender, is founded best, and which
they ought to adhere unto. The first thing it seems to be made clear
to the common people is, whether the pretender was the lawful son of
King James, yea, or no? And why the contrary to this was not made
appear, according to the promises which, they say, though falsely,
were made by the late King William? In the first place is to be
considered, that the declaration of the said king, when P. of O.
putting the said case in the modestest manner possible, had this
expression, That there were violent suspicions that the said person
was not born of the queen's body, and that the prince resolved to
leave the same to the free parliament, to which throughout the said
declaration the said prince declared himself ready to refer all the
grievances which he came over to redress. I shall give you this in the
words of a late learned author upon that head.

That before a free parliament could be obtained, King James withdrew
himself, and carried away his pretended son into the hands of the
ancient enemies of this nation, and of our religion, viz., the French,
there to be educated in the principles of enmity to this his native

By which action he not only declined to refer the legitimacy of his
said son to the examination of the parliament, as the Prince of Orange
had offered in his said declaration, but made such examination
altogether useless and impracticable, he himself (King James) not
owning it to be a legal parliament, and therefore not consenting to
stand by such examination.

By the said abdication, and carrying away his said pretended son into
the hands of the French to be educated in popery, &c., he gave the
parliament of England and Scotland abundant reason for ever to exclude
the said King James and his said pretended son from the government of
these realms, or from the succession to the same, and made it
absolutely necessary for them to do so, if they would secure the
protestant religion to themselves and their posterity; and this
without any regard to the doubt, whether he was the lawful son of King
James, or no, since it is inconsistent with the constitution of this
protestant nation to be governed by a popish prince.

The proof of the legitimacy being thus stated, and all the violent
suspicions of his not being born of the queen being thus confirmed by
the abdication of King James, come we next to examine how far this
abdication could forfeit for this pretender, supposing him to be the
real son of King James; this returns upon the right of the parliament
to limit the succession, supposing King James had had no son at all;
if the abdication be granted a lawfully making the throne vacant, it
will be very hard to assign a cause why the parliament might not name
a successor while the father was alive, whose right had no violent
suspicions attending it, and not why they might not name a successor
though the son was living; that the father's abdication forfeited for
the son is no part of the question before us; for the father is not
said to forfeit his right at all; no one ever questioned his right to
reign, nor, had he thought fit to have stayed, could the parliament
have named a successor, unless, as in the case of Richard II., he had
made a voluntary resignation or renunciation of the crown, and of his
people's allegiance; but the king having voluntarily abdicated the
throne, this was as effectual a releasing his subjects from their
allegiance to him, as if he had read an instrument of resignation,
just as King Richard did; all the articles of such a resignation were
naturally contained in the said abdication, except the naming the
successor, as effectually as if they had been at large repeated; and
since the resigning the crown has been formerly practised in England,
and there is so eminent an example in our English history of the same,
it will questionless be of use to the reader of these sheets to have
the particulars of it before his eyes, which for that purpose is here
set down at large, as it was done in the presence of a great number of
English peers, who attended the king for that purpose, and is as

_In the name of God, Amen. I Richard, by the grace of God, King of
England and France, and Lord of Ireland, do hereby acquit and
discharge all Archbishops, Bishops, Dukes, Marquisses, and Earls,
Barons, Lords, and all other my subjects, both spiritual and secular,
of what degree soever, from their oath of fealty and homage, and all
other bonds of allegiance, to me due from them and their heirs, and do
hereby release them from the said oath and allegiance, so far as they
concern my person, for ever._

_I also resign all my kingly majesty and dignity, with all the rights
and privileges thereunto belonging, and do renounce all the title and
claim which I ever had, or have, to them. I also renounce the
government of the said kingdom, and the name and royal highness
thereunto belonging, freely and wholly, and swearing upon the
Evangelists that I will never oppose this my voluntary resignation,
nor suffer it to be opposed, as judging myself not unworthily deposed
from my regal dignity for my deserts._

This resignation being read again in parliament, they grounded the
deposing King Richard upon it, and declared him accordingly deposed,
that is, declared the throne vacant; and immediately, by virtue of
their own undoubted right of limiting the succession, named the
successor. See the form in the history of that time, thus:--

_That the throne was vacant by the voluntary cession and just
deposition of King Richard II., and that therefore, according to their
undoubted power and right so to do, they ought forthwith to the naming
a successor to fill the said throne, which they forthwith did, by
naming and proclaiming Henry, Duke of Lancaster, to be king, &c._

See the history of the kings of England, vol. fol. 287.

This was the same thing with King James's abdication, and King James's
abdication was no less or more than an effectual resignation in form;
now the parliament, upon the resignation of the crown by the king,
having a manifold and manifest right to supply the throne so become
vacant, had no obligation to regard the posterity of the abdicated
prince, so far as any of them are concerned in, or involved by, the
said abdication, and therefore considered of establishing and limiting
the succession, without mentioning the reasons of the descent, having
the reasons in themselves; but suppose the son of King James had been
allowed legitimate, yet as the father had involved him in the same
circumstances with himself, by first carrying him out of the kingdom,
and afterwards educating him in the popish religion, he became
abdicated also with his father; neither doth the being voluntary or
not voluntary alter the case in the least, since in the laws of
England a father is allowed to be able to forfeit for himself and for
his children, and much more may he make a resignation for himself and
his children, as is daily practised and allowed in law in the cutting
off entails and remainders, even when the heir entail is in being, and
under age. The people of Britain ought not then to suffer themselves
to be imposed upon in such a case; for though the pretender were to be
owned for the lawful son of King James, yet the abdication of King
James his father, and especially his own passive abdication, was as
effectual an abdication in him as if he had been of age, and done it
voluntarily himself, and shall be allowed to be as binding in all
respects in law as an heir in possession cutting off an heir entail.
If this is not so, then was the settlement of the crown upon King
William and Queen Mary unrighteous, and those two famous princes must
be recorded in history for parricides and usurpers; nor will it end
there, for the black charge must reach our most gracious sovereign,
who must be charged with the horrible crimes of robbery and
usurpation; and not the parliament or convention of the estates at the
revolution only shall be charged as rebels and traitors to their
sovereign, and breakers of the great command of rendering to Cæsar the
things that are Cæsar's, but even every parliament since, especially
those who have had any hand in placing the entail of the crown upon
the person of the queen, and in confirming her majesty's possession
thereof since her happy accession; and every act of parliament
settling the succession on the house of Hanover must have likewise
been guilty of treason and rebellion in a most unnatural manner. This
is a heavy charge upon her majesty, and very inconsistent with the
great zeal and affection with which all the people of Britain at this
time pay their duty and allegiance to her majesty's person, and
acknowledge her happy government; this may indeed be thought hard, but
it is evident nothing less can be the case, and therefore those people
who are so forward to plead the pretender's cause, on account of his
being King James's lawful son, can do it upon no other terms than
these, viz., to declare that the queen is herself an illegal governor,
an usurper of another's right, and therefore ought to be deposed; or,
that the hereditary right of princes is no indefeasible thing, but is
subjected to the power of limitations by parliament. Thus I think the
great difficulty of the pretender's being the rightful son of the late
King James is over, and at an end; that it is no part of the needful
inquiry relating to the succession, since his father involved him in
the fate of his abdication, and many ways rendered him incapable to
reign, and out of condition to have any claim; since the power of
limiting the succession to the crown is an undoubted right of the
parliaments of England and of Scotland respectively. Moreover, his
being educated a papist in France, and continuing so, was a just
reason why the people of England rejected him, and why they ought to
reject him, since, according to that famous vote of the commons in the
convention parliament, so often printed, and so often on many accounts
quoted, it is declared, That it is inconsistent with the constitution
of this protestant kingdom to be governed by a popish prince. Vid.
Votes of the Convention, Feb. 2nd, 1688. This vote was carried up by
Mr. Hampden to the house of lords the same day as the resolution of
all the commons of England. Now, this prince being popish, not only so
in his infancy, but continuing so even now, when all the acts of
Parliament in Britain have been made to exclude him, his turning
protestant now, which his emissaries promise for him, though perhaps
without his consent, will not answer at all; for the acts of
parliament, or some of them, having been past while he, though of age,
remained a papist, and gave no room to expect any other, his turning
protestant cannot alter those laws, suppose he should do so; nor is it
reasonable that a nation should alter an established succession to
their crown whenever he shall think fit to alter or change his
religion; if to engage the people of Britain to settle the succession
upon him, and receive him as heir, he had thought fit to turn
protestant, why did he not declare himself ready to do so before the
said succession was settled by so many laws, especially by that
irrevocable law of the union of the two kingdoms, and that engagement
of the abjuration, of which no human power can absolve us, no act of
parliament can repeal it, nor no man break it without wilful perjury.

What, then, is the signification to the people of Britain whether the
person called the pretender be legitimate, or no? The son of King
James, or the son of a cinder-woman? The case is settled by the queen,
by the legislative authority, and we cannot go back from it; and those
who go about as emissaries to persuade the commons of Great Britain of
the pretender having a right, go about at the same time traitorously
to tell the queen's good subjects that her majesty is not our rightful
queen, but an usurper.


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Reasons against the Succession of the House of Hanover with an Enquiry - How far the Abdication of King James, supposing it to be - Legal, ought to affect the Person of the Pretender" ***

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