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BOOK cess Anne, the settlement of the crown determined,
the Jacobites proposed to declare the throne va. 1700.
cant, and even the presbyterians seem to have de-
53 Carstairs, 561. 70. Interest of Scotland, in three Essays, by Seton of Pitmedden, 1700. Scotland's Grievances relating to Darien. Coles's Mem. 174. .
54 Coles's Mem. 55. 209–70. Macpherson's Orig. Pap. i. 257.
-- As the supplies for the army expired with the BOOK
year, a session of parliament became indispensible; w but the situation of the country never appeared Parliament' more alarming or formidable to government, and mo nothing less than the king's presence was expected to appease the public discontent. His declining health, however, had encreased his habitual aversion to factions, and his natural reserve. Reposing a just confidence in the address and influence of his commissioner, the duke of Queensberry, he endeavoured by a conciliatory declaration, to soothe the people ; and he availed himself dexterously of the loss of Darien, to represent the dangerous impolicy of involving his ancient kingdom, alone and unsupported, in a heavy war which she was unable to sustain, for a precarious settlement which it was impossible to preserve in opposition to Spain. Every security was proposed for the preservation of religion, of personal liberty, and the freedom of trade. The prisoners wrecked at Carthagena, and condemned as pirates, were re, leased at his request; and as the recovery of Darien, the sole bond of union, was no longer expected, the presbyterians were gradually de. tached from a party whose violence aimed at the destruction of the state. The members of parlia. ment were the most untractable, as they were mutually pledged by their late addresses. But the boroughs were recently admitted to farm the customs; bribes and pensions were freely dispens
BOOK ed; and each of the officers of state undertook a m separate progress through the country, not to cor
rupt the leaders of opposition, but to seduce their October 29. adherents. When the parliament was opened, the
duke of Hamilton, the chief leader of opposition, was deserted by his former majority 55: the affairs of Darien were postponed for acts tending to conciliate the public esteem: the people were gratified by the incapacitation of papists from the purchase, sale, or inheritance of lands, in preference, or in prejudice to the next protestant heir; but our gratitude is more justly due for the security which personal liberty obtained. An act frequently demanded, was introduced against wrongful impri. sonment, and the undue delay of trial, which, notwithstanding the claim of rights, had never been properly restrained. The informer was required to subscribe his information; the magistrate, to sign a warrant expressive of the particular cause of commitment; and, upon application to a competent judge, the prisoner was ordered to be released upon bail, within twenty-four hours, unless the offence were capital, in which case his trial was to be brought on within sixty days. When released on the failure to prosecute, he might be imprisoned again, on a second indictment; but if twice discharged, he was exempt from all further prose
55 Carstairs, 650—73. Fletcher's first Discourse on Scot land. Boyer's Annals of Queen Anne. Minutes of Parliament. . . . . .
cution for the same offence. Arbitrary transpor- BOOK tation, so frequent during the former reigns, was prohibited without a legal sentence, or judicial
1700. consent; and in addition to the severe penalties annexed to wrongful imprisonment or wrongful transportation, the judges who rejected the prisoner's application, or refused to give full effect to the act, were declared incapable of public trust. If inferior, in some particulars, to the habeas corpus in England, the act inflicts a more adequate penalty on the iniquity of the judge. But the affairs of Darien were too important to Resolutions
of parliae be treated with silence or contempt. The honour ment. and independence of the nation remained to be vindicated; and a series of popular, and high spirited resolutions were adopted, from which the ministers durst not express their dissent. The addresses, votes, and the whole procedure of the English parliament, against a company instituted by an act of the Scottish legislature, were declared an officious and undue encroachment on the au. thority of an independent state. The memorial 1701. of the English resident to the senate of Hamburgh, was pronounced injurious, false, and contradictory to the laws of nations. The proclamations of the governors in the English plantations, were stigmatized as pernicious to the company, and as barbarous, and repugnant to the common rights of humanity. The colony of New Caledonia was finally vindicated, as a just and legal settlement,
BOOK perfectly warranted by the statute and letters pahar tent which the company had obtained 56. On
these unanimous resolutions, the ministry proposed to address the king. The opposition demanded an act, not only to assert the right, but to support the prosecution of the claim to Darien, without which they asserted that the company was still insecure, and its adventurers liable to be treated as pirates. But their design was obvious; to involve the king in hostilities with Spain. After a fierce and tumultuous debate, an address was carried by twenty-four votes, that his majesty would be pleased to vindicate the honour of the kingdom, and to assure the company of his royal protection 57. The immunities of the Darien company were prolonged. The exportation of wool, and the importation of foreign manufactures, or of French wines, were prohibited till the fish and manufactures of Scotland should be ad. mitted into France. The army was reduced to three thousand men; and by the prudent concessions of William, aided by the intrigues of his ministers, a parliament which had endangered the harmony of the two kingdoms, was quietly ad
journed. Death of
The remainder of the reign passed in sullen discontent at the loss of Darien, the remembrance of which was long preserved with resentment and
56 Minutes of Parl. · 57 Id. January 13, 14. Carstairs, 684.