The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons: Volume 3, 1695-1706. Originally published by Chandler, London, 1742.
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The Day the King died, the Princess (fn. 1) Anne was proclaimed Queen of England, &c. in the usual Form.
On the 11th of March, her Majesty went to the House of Peers, where, after she had sent for the Commons, she thus delivered herself to both Houses.
Her Majesty's Speech to both Houses.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
I Cannot too much lament my own Unhappiness, in succeeding to the Crown so immediately after the Loss of a King, who was the great Support, not only of these Kingdoms, but of all Europe; I am extremely sensible of the Weight and Difficulty it brings upon me.
'But the true Concern I have for our Religion, for the Laws and Liberties of England, for maintaining the Succession of the Crown in the Protestant Line, and the Government in Church and State, as by Law established, encourages me in this great Undertaking, which, I promise my self, will be successful, by the Blessing of God, and the Continuance of that Fidelity and Affection of which you have given me so full Assurances.
'The present Conjuncture of Affairs requires the greatest Application and Dispatch; and I am very glad to find in your several Addresses, so unanimous a Concurrence in the same Opinion with me, that too much cannot be done for the Encouragement of our Allies, to reduce the exorbitant Power of France.
'I think it very necessary, at this time, to desire you to consider of proper Methods for attaining an Union between England and Scotland, which has been so lately recommended to you as a Matter that very nearly concerns the Peace and Security of both Kingdoms.
'Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
'I need not put you in mind that the Revenue for defraying the Expences of the civil Government is expired: I rely intirely upon your Affection for the supplying of it in such a manner as shall be most suitable for the Honour and Dignity of the Crown.
'My Lords and Gentlemen,
'It shall be my constant Endeavour to make you the best return for that Duty and Affection which you have expressed to me, by a careful and diligent Administration for the good of my Subjects: and as I know mine own Heart to be entirely English, I can very sincerely assure you, there is not any thing you can expect or desire from me, which I shall not be ready to do, for the Happiness and Prosperity of England; and you shall always find me a strict and religious Observer of my Word.'
The Commons having, by such Members of their House as were of the Privy-Council, returned their humble Thanks to the Queen for her gracious Speech, she gave the Message a very gracious Reception, and was pleased to command Sir Charles Hedges to assure them, 'That nothing should be wanting, that might contribute to their Safety and Welfare.
In the mean time, the House, in pursuance of their Sunday's Resolution, having prepared their Address, and agreed to all the Points of it, went in a Body to St. James's, and there presented the same to her Majesty, as follows:
Commons Address to the Queen.
'Most gracious Sovereign, We your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Commons in Parliament assembled, having a deep Sense of the great Loss the Nation has sustained, by the Death of our late Sovereign Lord King William the Third, of glorious Memory, who, under God, was our Deliverer from Popery and Slavery, humbly crave leave to condole with your Majesty, and express our Sorrow upon this sad Occasion.'
'Your Majesty's Accession to the Throne (which we most heartily congratulate) and your Zeal for our Religion, and the Government, as by Law established, gives us a certain Prospect of future Happiness, moderates our Grief, and engages us unanimously to assure your Majesty, that we will, to the utmost, assist and support your Majesty on the Throne where God has placed you, against the pretended Prince of Wales, and all your Enemies: And since nothing can conduce more to the Honour and Safety of your Majesty and your Kingdoms, than the maintaining inviolably such Alliances as have been made, or that your Majesty shall think fit to make with the Emperor, the States-General of the United Provinces, and other Potentates, for preserving the Liberties of Europe, and reducing the exorbitant Power of France; we do assure your Majesty, that we are firmly resolved, to the utmost of our power, to enable your Majesty to prosecute the glorious Design. And that all your Subjects may rest in a full Assurance of Happiness under your Majesty's Reign, we will maintain the Succession of the Crown in the Protestant Line, according to the Limitation in the several Acts of Settlement, and effectually provide for, and make good the public Credit of the Nation.
The Speaker, on the 10th, having reported, that he had the day before, with the House, attended her Majesty with this Address; and that the great Croud occasioning much Noise, he had, to avoid any mistake, desired a Copy of the Queen's Answer, and that her goodness was such, that she sent it to him of her own Hand-Writing, as follows:
'Gentlemen, I return you my hearty Thanks for the kind Assurances you give me in this Address. They cannot be any way more agreeably confirmed to me, than by your giving dispatch to all your Preparations for the Public Service, and the Support of our Allies.'
Royal Assent given to several Acts.
On the 30th of March, her Majesty repair'd to the House of Peers, and gave the Royal Assent to, An Act for the better Support of her Majesty's Houshold, and of the Honour and Dignity of the Cromn. An Act for taking and stating the Public Accounts, &c.
After which she return'd them her kind and hearty Thanks, for continuing to her, for her Life, the same Revenue they had granted to the King; which, she was pleased to say, she would take care should be managed to the best Advtanage; and while her Subjects remained under the Burthen of such heavy Taxes, she would streighten her self in her own Expences, rather than not contribute all she could to their Ease and Relief; with a just regard to the Support of the Honour and Dignity of the Crown.
Queen gives 100,000 l towards the War.
The next Paragraph of her Speech was extremely Popular: 'It is probable the Revenue may fall short of what it has produced. However, I will give Directions, that one hundred thousand Pounds be apply'd to the Public Service in this Year, out of the Revenue you have so unanimously given me.'
The House of Commons, in their Address of Thanks for this Speech, particularly took notice of her Majesty's unparallel'd Grace and Goodness, in contributing out of her own Revenue, to the Ease and Relief of her Subjects. And the Lords express'd their Sense of it, in their Address, with equal Zeal and Gratitude. Her Majesty told them in her Answer, 'That their Approbation of what she did, would always be a great Satisfaction to her'.
May 4 War was (fn. 2) declared against France, and on the same Day the House presented an Address to the Queen on this Occasion, which was as follows:
Commons Address to the Queen.
'Most gracious Sovereign, We, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Commons of England, in Parliament assembled, being highly sensible of your Majesty's great and tender Care for the Safety and Welfare of your People, do, with one Voice, return your Majesty our most humble Thanks, for your gracious Condescension in communicating to us your Royal Intentions of declaring War, in conjunction with your Majesty's Allies, against the French King and his Grandson; and we do heartily assure your Majesty, that we will, to the utmost, enable your Majesty to carry on the said War.'
To which, the next Day, the Speaker reported back to the House her Majesty's gracious Answer, as follows:
'Gentlemen, I am extremely pleased with the assurances of your Resolution to assist and support me in this War. I make no doubt, but your Unanimity upon this Occasion, will have a very good effect, for the Encouragement of our Allies.'
An Address of both Houses to put a stop to all Intercourse between the Allies and France.
And an Address was, likewise, presented by both Houses, entreating her Majesty to use her Interest with her Allies, that all Intercourse for the future, might be cut off between their Subjects and those of France; to which her Majesty was pleased to return the following Answer.
'My Lords and Gentlemen, I shall propose to the Allies to join with me in prohibiting all Intercourse and Commerce with France and Spain, according to your Desire. And am too much concern'd for the Public Welfare, to omit any necessary Cautions for the Protection of our Trade.'
Royal Assent given to several Acts.
May the 6th, the Queen came to the House of Peers, and gave the Royal Assent to the following Acts. An Act for laying a Duty upon Land. An Act for appointing Commissioners to treat of an Union with Scotland. An Act to encourage the Greenland Trade. An Act for making good the Deficiencies, and the Public Credit. And to a great Number of private Acts.
And the 25th, Her Majesty came again to the House, and gave the Royal Assent to these following, viz. An Act for continuing in Prison—Counter, and others, concern'd in the horrid Conspiracy against his late Majesty. An Act to oblige Jews to maintain and provide for their Protestant Children. An Act for the Relief of the Protestant Purchasers of the forfeited Estates in Ireland. An Act for enlarging the Time for taking the Oath of (fn. 3) Abjuration, &c.
Her Majesty then put an end to the Session with the following Speech.
Queen's Speech in Parliament.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
I cannot conclude this Session without repeating my hearty Thanks to you all, for your great Care of the Public, and the many Marks you have given of your Duty and Affection to me.
'And I must thank you, Gentlemen of the House of Commons, in particular, both for the Supplies you have given to support me in this necessary War, and the Provisions you have made for the Debts contracted in the former: Your great Justice in making good those Deficiencies will be a lasting Honour and Credit to the Nation: I wish the difficulties, they have brought upon us, may be a warning to prevent such Inconveniencies for the future.
'I must recommend to you all, in your several Counties, the Preservation of the Public Peace, and a due Execution of the Laws.
In the said Act was the following Clause.
'I shall always wish that no differences of Opinion among those that are equally affected to my Service may be the Occasion of Heats and Animosities among themselves. I shall be very careful to preserve and maintain the Act of Toleration, and to set the minds of all my People at quiet; my own Principles must always keep me entirely firm to the Interests and Religion of the Church of England, and will incline me to countenance those who have the truest Zeal to support it.'
And then the Lord-Keeper, by her Majesty's Command, prorogued the Parliament till the seventh Day of July next. It was afterwards dissolv'd.