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af privileges, and a free trade. The English con- BOOK sented with reluctance to admit of a participation in their plantation trade; the Scots were with 1703. difficulty persuaded to submit to the same im, posts with England, upon home consumption ; but they refused, without an equivalent, to incur a share of the national debt, or to relinquish their Darien company, in which the public faith and the wealth of the kingdom were so deeply involved. The English commissioners, who still considered the privileges of the Darien as inconsistent with those of their East India company, represented that the interference of two great and exclusive companies might prove injurious to the trade of the united kingdom; and to reconcile the discordant interests of the two opposite monopolies, such difficulties occurred that the treaty was adjourned 4. · But the unexampled duration of parliament, Change of which had subsisted fourteen years, excited general discontent. Originally it was elected for a convention, and if its authority were doubtful or disputable, when converted into a parliament in the preceding reign, its continuance under the present was considered as absolutely null. The people were entitled to annual elections; and, after the secession of the country party, they began to dispute the authority of the rump, as
4 De Foe's Hist. of Union, App. 14. tion of Rapin, iii. 558.
the parliament was termed, and to refuse pay.
3 Lockhart, p. 21. Boyer, i. 160. 206. ii. 15. Ridpath's Account of Parl. 1703, p. 11. Cunningham's Hist. i. 320.
The efforts of each party were exerted, at the BOOK general election, to strengthen its interest in the approaching parliament, the last which was des- 70%. tined to be held in Scotland. Lord Seafield, the New parchancellor, was employed to manage the returns ; and his assurances of the queen's attachment, and of her reliance on their fidelity, persuaded many of the Jacobites to transfer their interest at elections to the crown. But the court party was divided and broken by the recent change. The ad. herents of the revolution were jealous of their new associates, whom the late ministers were ready to oppose. The country party were almost cqually numerous; and if we except a few Jacobites, they consisted either of presbyterians, or of independent members indifferent to religious sects. The Jacobites, who assumed the name of Cavaliers, formed a distinct body, whose numbers were still inconsiderable; bui they were prepared to unite with either of the contending parties, and expected to incline the balance to which soever side they chose. When the parliament was Maye. opened by Queensberry the commissioner, a recognition of the queen's title and authority was proposed by Hamilton, as a compliment to her, or as a decent apology for an intended motion, that the last session was an illegal convention, and that the ministers were responsible for their unconstitutional advice. An additional clause was
* Cunningham, i. 324, 5. Ridpath, 20.31. Lockhart, 35.
BOOK proposed to counteract this obvious design; that
it should be high treason to question, not only
> Ridpath, 5, 38.
gation of prelacy and of ecclesiastical pre-eminence BOOK constituted an article of the claim of rights, the presbyterian religion, from the concurrence of 1708. the presbyterians with the court party, was thus indirectly sanctioned by the penalties of treason, and all hopes of episcopal government were finally repressed. The Jacobites, who had stipulated that no confirmation should be bestowed on the revolution, abandoned the commissioner, by whose connivance their religion was proscribed, and continued afterwards invariably attached to the country party.
These preliminary disputes were subordinate to Disposition a more important question with which the nation liament and was agitated, productive of an ultimate union between the two kingdoms. Ever since the projected settlement at Darien, thegenius of the nation ! had acquired a new direction; and as the press is the true criterion of the spirit of the times, the numerous productions on every political and commer- : cial subject, with which it daily teemed, had supplanted the religious disputes of the former age. As the loss of Darien was invariably ascribed to the servile dependence of ministers on the English cabinet, whatever misfortunes the nation had sustained since the union of the crowns, the increase of the prerogative, and the exaltation of the hierarchy by James VI. the introduction of the liturgy
of the par
8 Ridpath, 44. Boyer, ii. 36. Lockhart, 11. Proceedings. of the Parl. of Scotland, 1703.