Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 17, 1701-1705. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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VENERIS, 2 die Januarii.
Lords take the Oaths.
King's Answer to Address.
King's Speech considered.
And the Lord North & Grey reported, "That it is the Opinion of the Committee, That a Committee be appointed, to draw an Address, to be presented to His Majesty, upon that Part of His Majesty's Speech which relates to the Danger of the Liberties of Europe."
Committee to draw an Address.
Whereupon, Lords Committees were appointed to draw an Address, to be presented to His Majesty, to assure Him, "That this House will stand by and assist His Majesty, in reducing the exorbitant Power of France, and settling the Balance of Europe;" and report to the House.
Bill to be drawn, for Security of the King's Person.
The House being moved, "That Leave be given to bring in a Bill, for the more effectual Security of His Majesty's Person, the Succession of the Crown according to the Two late Acts of Parliament, the Protestant Religion, and the Liberties of England, against the pretended Prince of Wales, and all other Pretenders whatsoever:"
House to be called.
"We Your Majesty's most loyal and dutiful Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, are highly sensible of what we owe to ALMIGHTY GOD, for the great Deliverances He hath wrought for us by Your Majesty. We are highly sensible of His Mercies, in preserving You hitherto, in so many public and private Dangers, to which Your Sacred Person hath been exposed; and we hope the same Providence will carry Your Majesty through the great Work, (which seems reserved for you) the reducing the exorbitant Power of France, and maintaining the Balance of Europe.
"All true Englishmen, since the Decay of the Spanish Monarchy, have ever taken it for granted, that the Security of their Religion, Liberty, and Property, that their Honour, their Wealth, and their Trade, depend chiefly upon the proper Measures to be taken from Time to Time in Parliament against the growing Power of France. But it is their peculiar Blessing, in Your Majesty's Reign, to have a Prince upon the Throne, who not only agrees with them in this Opinion; but who, in the frequent Parliaments assembled, is ever reminding them of this their greatest Concern; and who, to compleat their Happiness, is always ready, with the Hazard of His Person, to support His Subjects and Allies, against their common Enemy.
"And we esteem it a further good Fortune, in this Time of public Danger, that the French King has taken those Measures, which will make it impossible for Him to impose any more upon the World by Treaties, so often violated; neither can He hope any longer to cover His ambitious Designs, or justify His Usurpations, under the specious Pretences of Peace.
"Your Majesty hath so justly represented the Danger to which Europe is exposed, by the French King's placing His Grandson on the Throne of Spain; Your Majesty is so justly sensible, that, under that Pretence, He is become absolute Master of the whole Spanish Monarchy; and we are all so well apprized of the dangerous Consequence of this bold Attempt; that we think it most proper to assure Your Majesty, in Your own Words, That we are under the highest Impatience, that speedy and effectual Measures may be taken, against the unbounded Ambition of the French King.
"And as the placing His Grandson upon the Throne of Spain is visible to the whole World, the Cause of all those Dangers mentioned in Your Majesty's Speech, and of the Breach of the Balance of Power in Europe, which the People of England are so deeply engaged to preserve; so, we humbly conceive, the Remedy is as apparent as the Disease; and that Your Majesty, Your Subjects and Allies, can never be safe and secure, till the House of Austria be restored to their Rights, and the Invader of the Spanish Monarchy brought to Reason.
"To conclude, Sir; as we humbly addressed to Your Majesty, last Parliament, to enter into Alliances with the Emperor, The States of Holland, and all other Princes and States willing to unite against the Power of France; so we take the Liberty, at this Time, to assure You, we are all willing and zealous to lay hold of this Opportunity, which the Blessing of GOD and Your Majesty's Care have put into our Hand, resolving to make our utmost Efforts for our own Security, and the Support of our Allies; desiring of Your Majesty to rest assured, that no Time shall be lost, nor any Thing omitted on our Part, which may answer the reasonable Expectation of our Friends Abroad; not doubting but to support the Reputation of the English Name, when engaged under so great a Prince in the glorious Cause of maintaining the Liberty of Europe."
Whole House to attend His Majesty.
Lords White Staves to attend His Majesty.
It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Lords with White Staves do attend His Majesty, humbly to know what Time His Majesty will be pleased to appoint to be attended by this House, with the Address agreed to this Day.