At the age of 51 King James II may have been more like his father Charles I than his older brother Charles II, and many English people probably hoped that his daughter Mary and her Calvinist husband Willem of Orange would soon inherit the throne of the Catholic they feared. James II was proclaimed King of England and Ireland on February 6, 1685 and King James VII of Scotland four days later. His ministers Laurence Hyde (Earl of Rochester), Robert Spencer (2nd Earl of Sunderland), Earl Sidney Godolphin, and George Savile (Marquis of Halifax) were willing to cooperate with him. James was crowned on April 23 (St. George’s Day) and soon called for parliamentary elections. Of the 195 elected in the House of Commons only 57 Whigs with only nine of them from boroughs with revised charters. The “landed” Parliament which met on May 19 was dominated by royalists and Anglicans, and the Commons rejected a resolution to enforce the laws against Catholics.
The 9th Earl of Argyll led 300 rebels who landed in the Western Isles in May, and on June 11 Duke James of Monmouth with 80 supporters arrived at Lyme Regis. Parliament gave the King £400,000 to help put down these rebellions. The Scots were defeated first, and Argyll was taken to Edinburgh where he was executed on June 30. Monmouth claimed that James had poisoned Charles II, and he gathered a force of 7,000 peasants; but they could not enter Bristol and were defeated at Sedgemoor on July 5. Monmouth tried to hide as a shepherd, but he was caught two days later and beheaded on the 15th. James was proclaiming his support of the Church of England with toleration for others, and the English people did not want another civil war. The Parliament voted him an annual income of nearly £2 million, and James maintained an army of 16,000 men outside of London.
In October 1685 France’s Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes, and many French Protestants sought refuge in England. James II ignored the Test Act and appointed many Catholics to civil and military offices. Halifax refused to agree to repeal of the Test Acts and the Corporation Act of 1661, and he was dismissed on October 21. Chief Justice Jeffreys had conducted Bloody Assizes in August and September which tried 1,300 and put to death about 200 rebel prisoners and transported 800 to the West Indies. Jeffreys then became Chancellor. When Parliament met again on November 9, they protested the appointment of a Catholic officer and opposed a standing army and repeal of the Test Acts. They approved £700,000 for the army. On the 20th James prorogued them, and Parliament would not meet again during his reign. London’s Bishop Henry Compton refused to remove Anglican critics of the King and lost his position. By the end of the year the army had 20,000 men. Writs were issued against 48 Jewish merchants, and 37 were arrested but not charged. James in 1687 issued a Declaration of Indulgence to encourage trade with strangers, and this apparently included Jews.
In March 1686 James II issued Directions to Preachers and proclaimed a general pardon that released all in prison for the sake of conscience including 1,200 Quakers. The declaration suspended all penal laws on ecclesiastical matters and the Test Acts for officeholders. He hoped Parliament would approve these in December. In May he ordered London’s Bishop Compton to suspend John Sharp for disobeying. In June in the Godden versus Hales case eleven of twelve judges allowed the King to dispense with the Test Acts. In July the King established an Ecclesiastical Commission. In August he allowed Catholics to worship freely in private homes and six months later this was extended to moderate Presbyterians and Quakers. In November he set up a Licensing Office so that dissenters could buy dispensation certificates. William Penn was given a dispensation and went to Holland to ask Willem of Orange and his wife Mary to support the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, but Willem declined. TheGodden case also enabled James to enroll Catholics in the army.
James II appointed Rochester’s brother Henry Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, but in November 1686 he replaced him with the Catholic Richard Talbot, the Earl of Tyrconnell, who was sworn in as Lord Deputy of Ireland in February 1687. The King put the Navy under the papist Admiral Roger Strickland, and 3,000 Irish troops were sent to England in 1688. Eleven Catholics were appointed to the Irish Privy Council, and by the end of 1686 Catholics were two-thirds of the soldiers. New schools and convents were founded, and in 1688 James ordered Jesuits put in charge of government schools. Ireland had two million people.
In January 1687 James II dismissed Rochester for refusing to become a Catholic, and he stopped trying to work with the Tories. He issued a Declaration of Indulgence on February 12 and a second one on April 4. Earlier in the year James appointed 455 justices of the peace, and more than sixty percent of them were Catholics.
Princess Mary and her husband Willem of Orange declined to support James, and his other daughter, the Anglican Princess Anne, refused to become a Catholic. In March 1687 James ordered the fellows of Magdalen College at Oxford, where Catholics had been banned for decades, to elect a Catholic president. When the fellows refused, he expelled them. In June he granted religious toleration to all denominations with the exception of Conventicles. In the fall the Lords’ Lieutenants were ordered to survey officials on three questions related to the Test Acts and the second Declaration, but most refused and were dismissed. James set up a committee in November to regulate corporations so that he could replace local officials, and in the next few months more than three-quarters of the members of 103 towns were removed. Scottish Gilbert Burnet was Bishop of Salisbury and circulated his Ill Effects of Animosities among Protestants in England Detected in 1687 before it was published in 1688. He accused Charles II and James II of dividing Protestants in order to pursue absolute power and popery.
In the summer of 1688 Halifax published his Letter to a Dissenter that accused Catholics of persecuting true religion and warning people they would be squeezed. He argued that religious liberty and papal infallibility are incompatible. He also published The Anatomy of an Equivalent warning that James could not be trusted because his toleration was based on his interest which could change. Willem wrote his Letter to the English Army warning officers they could be removed if the nation became Catholic. Willem wanted the English to aid him against the French, and he ordered Admiral Herbert to use the English flag even though his commission was Dutch. James also used quo warranto to replace municipal officers and revise charters of boroughs.
James II renewed the English treaty with the Dutch to show that he would not oppose them with the French; but in January 1688 he ordered the recall of three English and three Scottish regiments in the Dutch army under Willem’s command, and in the spring he started a tariff competition against the Dutch. Stadtholder Willem told the Whig Edward Russell that if invited he would lead an army to England. On April 25 King James reissued the Declaration of Indulgence in England, and on May 4 he and his Council ordered it read in all churches on three Sundays in late May and early June. On May 18 Archbishop William Sancroft and six bishops petitioned the King to withdraw the order because he did not have the power to dispense with penal laws. James called it a rebellion and ordered them put in the Tower to be charged with sedition. On June 8 the seven bishops were led through the streets of London to the prison. Judges were divided, and on June 30 the jury acquitted them.
On June 10 King James II’s second wife Mary of Modena had borne their first son named James Francis Edward. Now the English feared another Catholic heir. By July the English army had so many Catholics that Louis XIV was contributing £4,000 a month for their maintenance, and he warned James that the Dutch were preparing their warships.
Willem sent Zuylestin to ask for an inviting letter from prominent men in England. Whigs and Tories allied against the Catholic King, and on June 30 seven leaders (Edward Russell, Henry Sidney, Lord Lumley, Bishop Compton, and the earls of Shrewsbury, Devonshire, and Danby) sent a letter with Admiral William Herbert inviting Willem of Orange. In September when the French army was busy attacking the Palatinate, the Dutch States General approved Willem’s plans to invade England.
On September 28 worried James promised to restore the Bishop of London, allowed the 25 expelled Oxford fellows to return to Magdalen College, abolished his ecclesiastical commission, restored the charters of London and other cities, and promised to summon a Parliament and give them dispensing power. Most of these were carried out in the next three weeks. He proclaimed a general pardon and announced that he would enforce church laws; but he kept his Catholic officers in the army. On October 14 (birthday of James) about a thousand people attacked a Catholic chapel in Norwich, and the anti-Catholic fervor spread. On the 26th James dismissed Sunderland, who fled to Holland.
Willem had issued his Declaration of the Reasons for his invasion of England at The Hague on September 30, and he called for Parliament to investigate whether the proclaimed child of James and Mary was actually theirs. On October 19 Willem led a force of Dutch with English and Scottish exiles with sixty warships and 500 transport vessels for 20,000 men and 5,000 horses, but a storm drove them back. After repairs they had favorable winds that kept English ships in port. They landed in southern England with 11,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry at Torbay on November 5. Willem’s army entered Exeter on the 9th, and in the next twelve days they gained 12,000 recruits. The English Navy nearly matched the Dutch forces but did not enter into combat. James had sent nearly 30,000 soldiers to Salisbury and had more than 4,000 men in garrison, but most were reluctant to fight for him. He joined his army at Salisbury on November 19, but three days later he lost by defection his closest advisors John Churchill and Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Grafton (son of Charles II by Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine). Churchill led horse grenadiers with Grafton and 400 other soldiers to Nottingham where Princess Anne had declared that she wanted a free Parliament. James was bled twice and used opium to sleep.
Willem was protected by Edward Seymour and the Marquis of Bath and began to march from Exeter on November 21. On that day the advance guard of Willem’s army met 120 Irish soldiers and killed about thirty, and his forces led by the Duke of Schomberg killed 53 outside of Dorchester. Lord Dalamere secured Cheshire; Devonshire took Nottingham; and Danby captured York. Princess Anne joined the invaders. On the 27th about fifty peers and bishops met with James and demanded a Parliament, dismissal of Catholic officers, and a complete amnesty, and they suggested sending a commission to Willem. James ordered writs for a Parliament to meet on January 15, 1689 and appointed Halifax, Daniel Finch, Earl of Nottingham, and Godolphin to meet with Willem. James had made Claverhouse the Viscount Dundee, and he was leading 6,000 soldiers from Scotland. James asked the city of London to defend him, but he was refused. Gentry, merchants, and financiers could support a Stuart princess married to a Protestant prince, and many towns surrendered to Willem and Mary Stuart.
On December 10, 1688 James’ wife Mary of Modena dressed as a laundry woman and escaped with her baby to France. That day James received Willem’s conditions and said he would reply, but he burned his writs for a parliament and ordered Feversham to disband the army. At Guildhall 29 peers supported Willem and declared they would try to keep order until he arrived; but in two days about 20,000 people ravaged most of the Catholic chapels in London. James sent a commission led by Rochester and Halifax to negotiate with Willem and then on December 11 fled to Faversham where he was captured by fishermen and taken back to London on the 18th. That day Willem’s Dutch army entered the capital and sent the English soldiers at least twenty miles away. On the 23rd James was allowed to escape again and made it to France. Willem ordered the French ambassador Paul Barillon to leave London, and he did so the next day. An assembly of English office-holders on December 28-29 circulated letters calling for parliamentary elections. The Dutch Estates had loaned Willem £600,000 for his English expedition, and in the summer 1689 the English Convention repaid them.
In Ireland on December 7 thirteen Protestant apprentices closed the gates of Londonderry against the Catholic Earl of Antrim. Lord Deputy Tyrconnell withdrew regiments from the north, and Protestant gentry began raising support for Willem.
In Scotland during the reign of James VII the English Parliament had made taking the Covenant treason and being at a Conventicle a capital crime, and 167 Covenanters were imprisoned. The Scottish Council ordered the execution of anyone who refused to repudiate the Apologetical Declaration imposed by the radical Covenanters called “Cameronians.” James offered Scotland free trade with England if they would repeal their laws against Catholics; but even though there were only about 2,000 or so Catholics in Scotland, they refused. In January 1686 Chancellor Perth celebrated mass in his home and provoked a riot in Edinburgh. In 1687 James VII issued Letters of Indulgence that allowed freedom of worship if they were not disloyal; but it did not include field conventicles. James Renwick was the last minister of the Society People, and he was executed in 1688. Before James left England in December, Chancellor Perth was driven out of Edinburgh. On Christmas Day gangs of Presbyterians ejected about 200 Episcopalian ministers from their homes in cold weather.
With James II in exile the Whigs and Tories met as a Convention Parliament on January 22, 1689 and declared that James had broken his contract with the people and vacated the throne. Although Whigs dominated the Commons with the Tories having a majority in the Lords, on the 28th they agreed it was “inconsistent with the safety and welfare of this Protestant kingdom to be governed by a popish prince.” On February 3 Willem said he would rule but not as a regent nor as a consort, and Anne agreed. Three days later the Convention proclaimed William and Mary King and Queen. Those still supporting James were called “Jacobites.”
The Convention drafted a Declaration of Rights which canceled the laws and policies of James II and asserted “undoubted rights and liberties.” The first six propositions declared that using regal authority without consent of Parliament for suspending, dispensing or executing laws, erecting commissions, levying money, persecuting petitioners, and raising or keeping a standing army are all illegal. They affirmed the rights to petition, for Protestants to have arms for defense, free election of Parliament, freedom of speech in Parliament, no excessive bail or fines or cruel and unusual punishment, juries in trials by freeholders for treason, no grants or promised fines or forfeitures before conviction, and frequent Parliaments for redress of grievances. The crown had the power to summon parliaments, appoint civil and military officers, and make war and peace. They presented the Declaration to William and Mary on February 13, and in December the Bill of Rights became law. Compared to 533 laws enacted during the reign of Charles II (1660-85) in the next quarter century the number would more than triple. During the reign of William III (1689-1702) Parliament was in session for 53 months, more than a year longer than during the era of Charles II, and they enacted 809 laws. Voters in Parliamentary elections were men aged 21 or older who had freehold property worth forty shillings a year or more.
Clergy who refused to swear allegiance to the new sovereigns could be fined or imprisoned, and about four hundred did so and were called “Non-jurors.” A Mutiny Act was passed to maintain army discipline for one year. In March the Convention gave William III and Mary £1,200,000 a year, and he gave up the unpopular hearth tax. William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, had served Stuart kings but opposed James II. He did not criticize Willem’s Declaration, but he would not sanction his revolution. On April 11 Bishop Compton of London crowned William III and Mary II co-sovereigns. On May 24 the Toleration Bill became law, but one had to swear allegiance and supremacy to obtain religious freedom. Office-holders still had to accept the Anglican sacraments, and the tolerance did not include Catholics, Jews, Unitarians, Deists, Quakers, and non-Christians. In the first year of the Act they licensed 900 meeting houses. The Anglicans had about 9,500 parish churches. King William adjourned the religious convocation on December 14.
In Ireland in January 1689 more than 60,000 Protestants in northern counties formed an armed association to defend their religion. On the 25th Lord Deputy Tyrconnell ordered all armed associations to disperse or be charged with treason, and the next month he ordered Protestants in Dublin to turn in their arms and ammunition. On March 7 Tyrconnell sent 2,500 soldiers led by Richard Hamilton to arrest those armed in Ulster and Sligo.
On March 12, 1689 James II with supporters and French officers landed at Kinsale in Ireland and summoned the Irish Parliament. He emphasized religious freedom, though the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity remained. More than 2,000 people were accused of being traitors. They voted a subsidy for James, but it was hard to collect. On March 14 the Catholics defeated the Ulster Protestants in County Down. The Irish besieged the English at Londonderry in April. While Tyrconnell was raising an army of 40,000 men, Catholics began administering all of Ireland except in Ulster. In April about 3,000 French troops arrived.
The English House of Commons granted King William supplies and declared war against France on May 7. In Ireland on that day Protestants led by Thomas Lloyd beat some Jacobites at Belleek. The Parliament at Dublin met in May with only six Protestants among the 224 members. They repealed the Act of Settlement and restored the estates of Catholics landowners confiscated since 1641. William sent a force led by Col. Percy Kirke, and they broke the siege of Londonderry on July 31. On August 13 an English army of 10,000 more men arrived at Bangor Bay led by the half-German, half-English Duke of Schomberg who left the French army after the Edict of Nantes was revoked in 1685. King William prorogued the Convention on August 20, and on September 9 he brought England and Scotland into the Grand Alliance that expanded the League of Augsburg with the Dutch, Austrian Emperor Leopold I, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Palatinate, Portugal, Savoy, and Sweden; Spain joined in June 1690. In Ireland the Irish and French Catholics were pitted against Protestants who were English, Irish, Dutch, Scottish, and German. Schomberg’s army of 19,000 lacked provisions and while spending two months on marshy ground at Dundalk thousands died of disease.
In October 1689 the English Convention met again and authorized £2,000,000 to put down the rebellion in Ireland. On January 27, 1690 William adjourned the Convention and then dissolved it on February 6. The elections were very partisan, but at the second Parliament in March they allowed the King the excise revenues for life and customs duties for four years. On April 28 the Whig Shrewsbury resigned.
William’s forces in Ireland included 6,000 foot soldiers and 1,000 horsemen hired from Denmark who arrived in March 1690. That month six regiments with 7,000 troops from France landed at Cork. In May the Grace Act pardoned most activities before 1688, and William adjourned the Parliament on the 23rd. On June 14 he landed with a fleet of 300 ships at Carickfergus and was welcomed at Belfast. James had an army of 25,000 Irish Catholics and French. Although William was wounded by a cannon ball in the shoulder on July 1, his Protestant army of 36,000 men defeated the Catholics at Boyne. The French were at a distance; but they held off William’s forces as James retreated. Dublin was evacuated while the French and Irish moved to Limerick. On July 4 James fled from Kinsale to France. John Churchill, Earl of Marlborough, led an army of 5,000 men that captured Cork on September 27 and Kinsale in October. Catholics were excluded from public offices and the legal profession. James’ cavalry commander Patrick Sarsfield was defending Limerick. William’s army besieged Limerick on August 7 and lost 3,000 men before he sent his troops into winter quarters where 2,000 more died of disease.
William went back to England on September 6. In Ireland that winter the Williamites began indicting people for treason and confiscating their land, and negotiations failed because of the land issues. In December 1690 English Parliament established a commission for public accounting, and before closing on January 5, 1691 the legislators approved nearly £4,600,000. Also in 1691 Moses Pitt published The Cry of the Oppressed describing the suffering of poor people in prison for debt.
Edward Lloyd’s coffee house near the Thames in London became a gathering place for merchants, sailors, and ship-owners, and by 1688 they were sharing information and began underwriting business deals and insuring the amounts subscribed. At the end of 1691 the coffee house moved to Lombard Street where they continued to develop the insurance business that in 1774 would become the Society of Lloyd’s.
In Ireland forces led by William’s general Godert de Ginkel besieged Athlone which fell at the end of June 1691, and he became its earl. His army of 20,000 defeated an equal army of Jacobites on July 12 at Aughrim after their commander St. Ruth was killed along with 7,000 Irish soldiers while the Williamites had 2,000 casualties. Ginkel offered terms to surrendering Jacobites. Lord Deputy Tyrconnell died in August, and Sarsfield asked for a cease-fire on September 23. Ginkel offered a proposal that promised Catholics freedom of religion and pardon and property rights to those holding out in Limerick and other Irish garrisons, and the treaty was signed on October 3. If they swore allegiance to William they could keep their property. About a thousand men chose to join William’s army, and he agreed to ship 2,000 men who wanted to join the Emperor, his ally. About 12,000 returned to France with Sarsfield. By then the English Parliament had repealed all the laws passed by Ireland’s Patriot Parliament, and they imposed an Anglican test on office-holders. The Dublin Parliament that met in October 1692 was dominated by Protestants, and the Anglo-Irish landed class kept the Catholics subservient. The Protestants were so angry about the Treaty of Limerick that Lord Lieutenant Henry Sidney dissolved them, and William recalled him in June 1693.
While William was fighting in Ireland, Queen Mary II and her advisors ordered Admiral Torrington to engage the French Navy that had 75 ships which defeated the 58 vessels of the English and Dutch fleets at Beachy Head on June 30 (July 10 NS), 1690. William traveled back and forth from London to The Hague, and in January 1691 his royal yacht was lost in fog, and he spent 16 hours in a rowboat in freezing weather. On October 22 William asked Parliament to support an army of 65,000 men, and after much debate they approved. In February 1692 William vetoed a bill that would have restricted his ability to dismiss judges.
In 1689 England had paid for about 11,000 troops for Williams’ war in Flanders, for nearly 5,000 in 1690, and more than 12,000 in 1691, but by 1693 the English were paying for more than 40,000 soldiers there. In May 1692 the English and their allies led by Admiral Russell overwhelmed a French fleet half its size in the battle of La Hogue. In November the Parliament approved more than £1,000,000 for the war. The battles in the Spanish Netherlands at Steenkerke on August 3 and at Landen on July 29, 1693 resulted in heavy casualties for both sides. On March 4, 1693 William vetoed the Triennial Bill. In May off the coast of Portugal the French had destroyed at least a hundred ships in a convoy of the Levant Company which lost £1,000,000. In siege warfare the French led by General Vauban defeated the English allies at Mons in April 1691, Namur in June 1692, at Huy in July 1693, and at Charleroi in 1694.
William III dismissed Marlborough from his positions on January 10, 1692. The King used the Tories Danby as President of the Council and the Earl of Nottingham as Secretary of State while the “Trimmer” Halifax as Lord Privy Seal worked with both parties. A land tax was imposed based on reassessed property that yielded £2,000,000 a year. William used his veto five times compared to Charles II’s two vetoes in 25 years and none by James II. After the Parliament’s session ending in March 1693 William gave up trying to work with both parties, and Shrewsbury returned as Secretary of State in March 1694. He was joined by other Whigs such as Montagu, though the Tories Danby and Godolphin remained.
By March 1694 England desperately needed £1,000,000 for the war. Scottish William Paterson had been suggesting a national bank since 1692, and he gained the support of the London financier Michael Godfrey who was opposing the East India Company. Treasury Commissioner Montagu devised a plan for the Bank of England. A lottery loan raised £1,000,000 by offering annuities and prizes, and on April 25 the Tonnage Act created the Bank of England which raised £1,200,000 in twelve days with the government promising 8% interest for the loans. Annual meetings of Parliament would be needed to underwrite government debts. Although he did not want Parliament to be like the Venetian Senate, in December 1694 William finally approved the Triennial Bill which required Parliament to have elections every three years. Because the House of Commons only made appropriations for one year, the Parliament met annually during William’s reign. He is considered England’s first Parliamentary monarch. He appointed 21 bishops, and by 1702 of the 26 bishops 18 were his nominees. William was lenient to Jacobites and allowed them to write to James II in France. On December 28, 1694 Queen Mary II died of smallpox at the age of 32.
After the English Parliament’s proclamation making William III king, on March 14, 1689 the Scottish estates held a convention in Edinburgh which was still under a commander of James. They had letters from James and William and definitely preferred James. By March 27 a committee of Williamites was appointed to prepare for a convention which three days later declared Claverhouse of Dundee a rebel. On April 4 they agreed on a “Claim of Right” and “Articles of Grievances” that canceled the rule of James VII, asserted their independent parliament, and offered the crown to William and Mary on those conditions, and a week later they proclaimed William III and Mary II joint sovereigns of Scotland. They accepted on May 11 and took the coronation oath administered by Scottish commissioners. Viscount Dundee returned with fifty horsemen and went to the Highlands looking for royalist support. William summoned the convention to meet again in June, and they abolished episcopacy which was approved by the King who was advised by Presbyterian William Carstares. They had nine sessions during his reign. In 1689 the English Navy searched for French ships in Scottish waters but also enforced the Navigation Acts which limited Scottish trade.
Knowing that James was fighting in Ireland, Dundee raised 2,500 Highlanders from western clans. William sent General Mackay with 4,000 troops in July, but on the 27th the Jacobites defeated them at Killiecrankie. On August 2 High Commissioner William Hamilton prorogued the Scottish Parliament. On August 21 at Dunkeld the Williamites were outnumbered 4-1; but Dundee was killed, and the 4,000 Jacobites were defeated. To fight the Jacobite rebellion in the Highlands the government erected Fort William by Loch Linnhe. On May 1, 1690 near Cromdale about 800 Jacobite Highlanders were put down with about 300 clansmen killed, ending the Scottish resistance to William’s rule.
In March 1690 King William sent George of Melville to Scotland as commissioner. The Scottish Convention met on April 15 and ten days later repealed the 1669 Act of Supremacy. Then they repealed the Lords of the Articles on May 8. At the second session of the Scottish Parliament in June they approved the establishment of Presbyterianism and abolished lay patronage on July 19. Ministers ejected in 1662 were restored. The Kirk was permitted to purge ministers who refused to take the oath of allegiance, and 182 were deprived of their livings for refusing to pray for William and Mary. Many of the Episcopalian ministers in the north were protected by gentry and their parishioners. In the next quarter century two-thirds of the ministers in Scotland would be removed. At the next session King William replaced Commissioner Hamilton with James Drummond, Earl of Perth, as chancellor and his brother John, Earl of Melfort, as Scottish Secretary of State, and they suspended bishops who opposed the ending of laws against Catholics. The General Assembly of the Kirk met and refused to redress Episcopalian clergy, and William offended Presbyterians by dissolving the Assembly.
In August 1691 all who would take the oath of allegiance by the end of the year were promised indemnity, and William threw in £12,000 to bribe clan chiefs. The leader of the Macdonald clan of Glencoe, because of English delays in the procedure, submitted his oath five days late. John Dalrymple of Stair wanted to make an example of clans who resisted, and Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon and his 120 men from Fort William, who had fought at Killiecrankie, were ordered to “put all to the sword under seventy.” On February 12, 1692 they slaughtered 33 men, two women, and two children in Glencoe; many others died in the snowstorm. Also in 1692 the General Assembly in Scotland expelled Episcopal ministers and professors, even those who accepted the Presbyterian government. In 1693 and 1695 King William granted indulgence to Episcopalians who recognized him, and a hundred ministers did.
In 1694 William III began relying on five Whigs who favored the war, and the Tories called them the “Junto.” The Lord Keeper was John Somers. Edward Russell headed the Admiralty and became Lord Orford. Thomas Wharton organized the party. The 2nd Earl of Sunderland managed their allies in the House of Commons, and the Earl of Shrewsbury became Secretary of State again. Thus the Whigs went from being the opposition to be the government party, though the Whigs Paul Foley and Robert Harley became critics of the regime. Parliament doubled the salt tax to pay for the ongoing war against France.
William extended English naval power into the Mediterranean Sea in 1694 by basing them under Admiral Russell at Cadiz until late 1695. By 1696 during the Nine Years War from 1688 to 1697 the allies lost more than 3,000 ships, and French privateers from St. Malo captured 1,275 prizes and ransoms. The English Navy began with 22,000 men but by 1695 had 48,500. The land war was fought against the French mostly in the Spanish Netherlands, and by 1696 England was paying for more than 68,000 soldiers in Flanders.
In January 1695 Nottingham criticized the war strategy and the Bank of England. That spring the Commission of Public Accounts accused Treasury Secretary Henry Guy of corruption and House Speaker John Trevor of taking bribes from the City of London and the East India Company. In April an attempt to impeach Danby again was stopped by William proroguing the Parliament. He then led the military campaign on the continent from May for seven months. After a two-month siege his army regained Namur on September 1. In April 1695 the Licensing Act expired, freeing the press and making newspapers more popular. King William returned on October 10 and the next day dissolved the Parliament. He established his own Council in December, and in January 1696 he approved the Treason Trials Act which required two witnesses to the crime. Gregory King published Natural and Political Observations warning that England’s capital stocks had decreased from £8,500,000 in 1688 to £4,500,000 in 1695 and that soon the nation would be reduced to basic subsistence needs by the cost of war. England also imposed a window tax in 1695.
Treasury Lord Charles Montagu supervised re-coinage in January 1696 with advice from Isaac Newton and John Locke, but it cost £1,200,000 and adversely affected the Bank. Silver coins before 1663 were made by striking hammers and were not protected by milled edges. Since the 1670s many goldsmiths and others were clipping off slivers of metal up to an eighth of the coin and selling them as bullion while circulating the diminished coins. People demanded the new silver coins or would value clipped coins by weight. The Bank had also issued notes beyond its deposits. On March 22, 1696 to restore the standard the price of the gold guinea was reduced from 28 shillings to 22. After May 4 no clipped coin would be accepted as payment of tax. Rival bankers encouraged a run on the Bank, which occurred on May 6; but a moratorium saved the institution.
On February 24, 1696 King William informed the Parliament of a plot to assassinate him at Turnham Green, and the Habeus Corpus Act was suspended. Seven conspirators were executed right away. John Fenwick knew of the plot and was executed by an act of attainder, and before his death he accused Marlborough, Godolphin, Shrewsbury, and Admiral Russel of being Jacobites. An act declared that William III was the “rightful and lawful King,” and 90 members in the Commons and 19 peers refused to take the loyalty oath required by a law passed in April. William dismissed Nottingham, Normandy, and Seymour for refusing to take the oath. By July one Lord Lieutenant, 104 Deputy-Lieutenants, and 86 justices of the peace had been dismissed. Shrewsbury resigned, and Sunderland and Montagu retired. Godolphin resigned in October. On May 15, 1696 William created the Board of Trade and Plantations with eight paid commissioners to promote the American colonies.
The failure of English payments to the army in July and August along with news that Savoy had defected were a desperate time in the war. A Land Bank promoted by Harley to lend the government money at 7% failed and had to be rescued by the Bank of England which on August 14 agreed to send £200,000 to Flanders. However, because of delays most of what reached the Army Paymaster in late October was a loan of £144,335 from the Dutch Estates General. In the spring of 1697 the Bank of England provided the government with another loan and was incorporated with a monopoly on joint-stock banking until 1710. On December 1, 1696 Montagu presented the Commons with a review of finances that could be considered the beginning of a budget process. In 1696 Gregory King estimated that a quarter of the English depended on alms and that the money used to relieve the poor was as much as a quarter of all the export trade.
In February 1697 the Whigs ended the Commission of Public Accounts. At the end of the session William III made Somers a baron and Chancellor, Russell Earl of Orford, and Montagu First Lord of the Treasury. They soon formed a Whig Junto with Wharton and then Sunderland. On September 10/20 the Treaty of Ryswick ended the war as Louis XIV recognized William III as King of England and promised not to support his enemies. The English effort had required an army of 90,000 men and cost £40,000,000. By the end of the war in 1697 the national debt had increased to £14,000,000, though this was still a small portion of the expanding national income. Tories criticized the Bank of England. Montagu raised more money by having the Exchequer issue £5 and £10 bonds to get short-term loans from the public. The growing English economy used the rising capitalist class to finance the war that with many allies defeated the more populous France. In 1697 John Trenchard (1662-1723) and Walter Moyle criticized the use of standing armies because they are inconsistent with a free government.
The new French ambassador Comte de Tallard came to London on March 29, 1698. William III in April began negotiating a secret Partition Treaty with France and Holland, and after the end of the session in July he went back to Holland for five months. The first Partition Treaty was signed at The Hague on October 11. A general election was held in December. Robert Harley led those in the House of Commons who wanted to reduce government spending and abolish the standing army which was reduced from 15,000 to 7,000 men, though 12,000 were still in Ireland. Montagu resigned in November. Chancellor Somers remained, though in December members accused him of being responsible for sending Captain William Kidd to protect East India Company merchants in the Indian Ocean where he became a pirate instead. Also in 1698 the first stock exchange in the world began in London. On February 1, 1699 William III approved the Disbanding Bill to reduce the size of the army.
Parliament criticized King William for giving forfeited land in Ireland to his friends, and in April 1700 a forfeitures bill revoked William’s grants of Irish estates. The Parliament also resolved that William should remove all foreigners from his councils. William prorogued the Parliament on April 10. Somers refused to resign and was dismissed. Daniel Defoe published The Two Great Questions Considered to warn against a French monopoly in the West Indies. Parliament provided £400,000 to relieve the five percent of the people who were poor, and less than a third of this amount was dispersed by charities.
Princess Anne became pregnant for the 18th and last time but had her 12th miscarriage on January 24, 1700. Her only surviving child, the Duke of Gloucester, after celebrating his 11th birthday became ill, was bled, and died of smallpox on July 3. By the age of 35 she had become obese, suffered from gout (arthritis) in her hands and feet and dropsy (edema), and could not walk much without help. Her husband George was also very fat, and no more children were expected. Spain’s Carlos II died in November. In December the King turned to the Tories again by bringing back Rochester as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland and Godolphin as First Lord of the Treasury.
When Parliament requested that King William hire no foreign advisors other than Anne’s husband Prince George of Denmark, he prorogued them and then dissolved them in December. The Tories gained seats in the elections of early 1701, though the backers of the new East India Company engaged in widespread corruption. On March 28 the Commons impeached William’s confidant Willem Bentinck, Earl of Portland, and then on April 14 Somers, Orford, and Halifax; but none were convicted. After visiting the United Netherlands again William restored Marlborough to his army command and assigned him to negotiate with the Dutch.
In June the Tories pushed through the Act of Settlement which established the line of succession to go from Princess Anne to another granddaughter of James I, the Protestant Electress Sophia of Hanover, and her heirs. Every English sovereign must be a member of the Church of England. No foreign-born monarch could go to war for continental territories nor abroad at all without the permission of Parliament. No foreigner could sit in Parliament or the Privy Council. The Crown could not remove judges without the consent of Parliament. In February the Anglican Church held a convocation, and Tories warned that the Church was in danger. From 1689 to 1710 licenses for meeting houses were granted to 3,614 dissenting churches. In 1701 Sephardic Jews from Spain and Portugal built the Bevis Marks synagogue in London. In the spring newspapers and other publications such as the Legion Memorial by Daniel Defoe urged a war against France, but in May the Commons rejected a petition from Kent.
Churchill’s wife Sarah was Princess Anne’s close friend, and on September 7 (NS), 1701 the Earl of Marlborough negotiated a second Grand Alliance against France with the Dutch Republic and the Austrian Empire. After the death of James II on September 16 NS Louis XIV recognized his son James Edward as King of England. This aroused both parties to urge William III to prepare for war, and he appointed Marlborough commander-in-chief. When the Commons tried to impeach the Junto leaders, the Lords opposed. To avert this conflict William dissolved the Parliament in November. The general election in December resulted in a balance of Whigs and Tories. The Commons approved the raising of 40,000 soldiers. They passed an Act of Attainder against the Pretender James III, and in February 1702 the Abjuration Act required office-holders to repudiate the Pretender. That month the Parliament increased the land tax and levied a tax on malt to raise £3,600,000. By 1702 the national debt had risen to £12,767,225. After a riding accident broke his collarbone on February 23, King William III became ill and died on March 9, 1702.
In Ireland the anti-papist Henry Capel became Lord Deputy in 1695. That year the Protestant Parliament outlawed Catholic schools, teachers, and private tutors, and Catholics were banned from earning degrees at Trinity College in Dublin. They could not wear swords or own a gun or a horse worth more than £5 as any Protestant could buy a Catholic’s horse for that amount. The Limerick Treaty ratified in 1697 omitted the clause protecting the people in areas controlled by the Irish army in October 1691. An edict in 1697 banished Catholic bishops and clergy. In 1698 almost all Catholics were banned from practicing law. That year William Molyneux published The Case of Ireland, showing how the English Parliament oppressed the Irish, and he argued that they should have representatives in the Parliament; but they condemned his book. In May 1699 Ireland’s export of woolen goods was restricted to England and Wales. King William granted Irish estates to his Dutch favorites.
In 1695 the private Bank of Scotland was founded with capital of £100,000 sterling. In 1696 the Scottish Act for Settling Schools required landlords in every parish to provide a school and a salary for a teacher, and in the next century the Scottish people would be among the best educated.
From 1695 to 1699 crop failures in Scotland caused a famine. In June 1695 William made the Marquis of Tweeddale the commissioner for the Company Trading with Africa and the Indies created by the Scottish Parliament giving them a 31-year monopoly on Scottish trade with the Americas and forever on trade with Africa and Asia. The English invested £300,000, and the Scots eventually raised £400,000 for a colonial venture that Paterson proposed for a colony called Caledonia to trade from the Panama Isthmus at Darien. William was working on partition treaties with Louis XIV and objected because Darien was claimed by Spain. After the death of some on the voyage of five ships the Scots founded New Edinburgh in October 1698, but the first two attempts failed. A third expedition landed in November 1699 and fought off Spaniards on February 17, 1700 but had to surrender Fort St. Andrew to them on April 1. Nine days before his death King William recommended an English union with Scotland.
Anne, the last of the Stuart monarchs, became Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland on March 8, 1702, and she was carried to her coronation on St. George’s Day (April 23). In her first speech she declared her heart “entirely English,” and she told her Privy Council that her first priorities were to reduce the power of France and to maintain the Protestant succession. In May she dissolved Parliament and called a general election, and in July the Whigs gained 58 seats and a strong majority in the Commons. Anne appointed her husband George of Denmark as Lord High Admiral and made John Churchill, the Earl of Marlborough, Captain-General of the Army. On May 4, 1702 England and the Dutch Republic declared war against France. The next winter the Commons showed their approval of the “blue-water” strategy by voting for twice as much money for the Navy as for the Army. Laurence Hyde, the Earl of Rochester, was the Queen’s uncle and had been appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He favored the “blue-water” strategy and resigned in February 1703 after learning that England was intervening in Europe.
On March 11, 1702 The Daily Courant began publication as the first daily newspaper in England. By 1712 there would be about 67,000 copies of newspapers sold every week in Britain. During Anne’s reign the Tories usually dominated the House of Commons, but the Whigs maintained a majority in the House of Lords. Also in 1702 the Earl of Rochester began publishing his grandfather’s History of the Great Rebellion by Edward Hyde, the Earl of Clarendon, and the profits were used to erect the Clarendon Building for printing at Oxford.
Anne was devoted to the Anglican Church and dismissed the atheist Thomas Wharton along with the Whigs Somers, Halifax, and Orford. She made the moderate Godolphin the Lord Treasurer in May, and their ally Robert Harley became Speaker of the House of Commons. The Whig Junto was replaced by Tories who removed Whigs from the administration. Dr. Henry Sacheverell promoted the Church of England. His sermon preached at Oxford in June was published as The Political Union: A Discourse Showing the Dependence of Government on Religion. However, three Conformity Bills, which were intended to exclude religious dissenters from public offices, passed by the Commons were defeated in the Lords in January and December 1703 and in December 1704. By 1704 Queen Anne no longer supported the High Church cause. In April when Nottingham could not persuade Anne to dismiss the Whigs from her Council, he resigned along with the high Tory Seymour. Harley, who was independent of both parties, became Secretary of State with his protégé Henry St. John (who became Viscount Bolingbroke in July 1712) as Secretary of War. Anne refused to agree to the Scotland’s Security Act.
In October 1702 the Tory Admiral Rooke’s forces captured a Spanish treasure fleet off Vigo. In the summer and fall Marlborough led the army in capturing fortresses on the Meuse and lower Rhine, and in the spring of 1703 they took Bonn, Hoy, and Limbourg. John Methuen negotiated a treaty with Portugal in May that gave the British a naval base at Lisbon. The Portuguese would provide 28,000 troops, and the Dutch would pay and supply nearly half of them. That month Marlborough led an army of 50,000 men from Holland down the Rhine and over to the Danube. The British paid for half these soldiers, though only 9,000 were British. In October the English formed an alliance with Savoy. Marlborough marched his army across Germany to join forces with Mundelshem, Prince Eugene of Savoy, and Prince Lewis of Baden, capturing Schellenberg on June 21, 1704 from a Bavarian army on the Danube.
Then the English and their allies defeated the French and the Bavarians at Blenheim (Blindheim) on August 2 (OS), taking General Tallard prisoner to Nottingham. Each side had more than 50,000 soldiers; but the French-Bavarian allies suffered 20,000 casualties and had 14,190 captured while the Grand Alliance had 4,542 killed and 7,942 wounded. This victory drove the French out of Germany and saved Vienna for the Austrians, making Marlborough a hero in England. Ten days before that famous battle Admiral Rooke had captured Gibraltar from the Spaniards, and then his 94 ships fought 56 warships in the French fleet at Malaga on August 13 (OS), but the allies suffered 2,700 casualties compared to 1,600 of the French. Gibraltar was besieged for six months until it was relieved by the British Navy in May 1705. The French regained Huy and Liege, but Marlborough captured Huy again in July.
In 1704 Jonathan Swift published his Tale of a Tub that included “The Battle of the Books” in the prolegomena. Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle’s Of Ancient and Modern Learning had been published in 1690 suggesting that modern writers were like dwarfs standing on the shoulders of the ancient giants. This was countered by the theologians and classicists Richard Bentley and William Wotton. The latter published Reflections upon Ancient and Modern Learning in 1694 and 1697 and his History of Rome in 1701. Swift mocked this controversy by describing a battle in the King’s Library. The Tale of a Tub satirized the corruption of modern religion, politics, literature, and education. The work was popular; but Queen Anne considered it profane, and Swift felt it retarded his advancement in the Anglican Church. The three brothers Peter, Martin, and Jack represent Catholics, Anglicans, and Calvinists. The tub, which is a term for a dissenter’s pulpit, represents the ship of state that is endangered by a whale (Leviathan).
The Tories became angry when the Whigs in the Upper House refused to pass the Occasional Conformity Bill. The Tories in the Commons acquitted William White, the Tory Mayor of Aylesbury, after he eliminated Whig voters; but the Commons granted the Whig elector Matthew Ashby’s appeal. Other Whigs in Aylesbury also appealed, but the Commons had them arrested. They asked for habeus corpus release to be judged by the Lords, and Anne dissolved the Parliament in April 1705. That month the Duke of Newcastle, a moderate Whig, was appointed Lord Privy Seal. Anne did not want to be controlled by either party and asked Godolphin to find a moderate Tory to be Chancellor. The Regency Act assured the succession of the Protestant Electress Sophia or her heir. In elections in June the Whigs gained 35 seats in the Commons, but the Tories still had a majority. Anne dismissed two High Tories and Admiral Rooke to please the Whigs and appointed young Charles Spencer, the 3rd Earl of Sunderland, ambassador to Vienna, and in October she made the Whig William, Earl of Cowper, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal.
The allies’ were led by the eccentric Earl of Peterborough in the siege and capture of Barcelona in October 1705, and they held it until it was relieved in the spring of 1706. Marlborough achieved more victories against a French offensive by 62,000 men in the Spanish Netherlands at Ramillies on May 12/23, 1706 as his 60,000 soldiers killed and wounded 13,000 and took 6,000 prisoners while suffering only 1,066 dead and 2,597 wounded. In June and July the allies also captured Antwerp, Ostend, Bruges, Ghent, and Brussels with little resistance. Then Marlborough’s forces invaded France to besiege and capture Menin in August. The army led by Austria’s Prince Eugene drove the French out of Italy and proclaimed the Habsburg Archduke Charles as king. Marlborough opposed this, and the Austrians offered to make him Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands under Charles; but he declined. An allied force from Portugal invaded Spain and took over the capital Madrid, though Henry Galway soon led a retreat. The Spaniards still accepted Felipe V (Philippe) as their king.
Marlborough’s Duchess Sarah persuaded Anne to accept the Whig Sunderland, as Secretary of State in December 1706, and five Tories were dismissed from the Privy Council. In the summer of 1707 Anne appointed two Tories as bishops, threatening the Whigs majority in the House of Lords, but she was persuaded to name some Whig bishops too. That year Harley gained more influence as his cousin and friend Abigail Masham replaced Sarah Churchill as Anne’s confidant.
In April 1707 the British allies were defeated at Almansa in Spain by an army led by James FitzJames, the Duke of Berwick (and natural son of James II by Marlborough’s sister), and in August the allies suffered 10,000 casualties in a failed attempt to take Toulon. Parliament met on October 23 and began investigating the Navy run by Prince George and Admiral George Churchill (Marlborough’s brother). In December the Lords adopted Somers’ resolution of “No peace without Spain” being freed from Philippe of the House of Bourbon.
In the spring of 1703 Parliament and Queen Anne created a commission to devise a union between England and Scotland, but the Scottish Parliament passed a law requiring any successor of Queen Anne to consult them before involving Scotland in a war. Their Act of Security required the Scottish Parliament to choose a Protestant descendant of the Stewarts, or the English must grant Scotland freedom of government, religion, and trade. They also provided for the re-arming of Scotland; but the Queen Act did not consent to this, and Commissioner Queensberry did not ratify it. In response the Scots refused to pass supply. In 1704 Tweeddale succeeded Queensberry. In February 1705 the English Parliament passed an Alien Act that threatened to penalize Scottish commerce if they did not accept the Hanoverian succession by Christmas; but the Act also authorized a new union commission. The young Duke of Argyll was appointed, and England repealed the worst parts of the Alien Act. Also in 1705 the physician Robert Sibbald and others started the Edinburgh Philosophical Society.
Anne appointed 31 commissioners from England and 31 from Scotland, and on July 16, 1706 they agreed on a treaty. Great Britain was to have a common flag, seal, currency, and Parliament with representation based on population and taxable capacity. Scotland would have 16 peers to England’s 190 and 45 commoners to 513 from England and Wales. Scotland would retain its own laws and judicial system with no appeal to Westminster. The English national debt was more than a hundred times that of Scotland which was to receive a payment of £398,085 in compensation for their sharing the burden of the combined debt which included £232,884 in compensation for the investors in the Darien Company which was dissolved. They also provided £20,000 for the expenses and arrears of office-holders. When the Union Treaty was announced, mobs rioted in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dumfries; but the Scottish Parliament debated the issues and approved the treaty 110-69 on January 16, 1707. They also passed an act securing the Protestant religion and the Presbyterian Church government. The English Parliament accepted these, and Queen Anne approved. The Scottish Parliament adjourned on March 19 and has not met since. The Parliament of Great Britain began on May 1. In March the English Navy had prevented a French fleet with 6,000 from landing in Scotland. In 1708 Parliament established a treason law that included Scotland.
The Irish Parliament did not meet between 1699 and 1703. That year Catholic priests were directed to register with the government, and more than a thousand did so. In 1704 the Irish Parliament passed the Gavelkind Act against papists, but the loyalty test also affected Presbyterians. Catholics could inherit only land from other Catholics. When a Catholic died, the property was divided equally between his sons unless the oldest son was a Protestant. A Catholic could not gain property by marrying a Protestant, but a Catholic wife who became a Protestant got part of her husband’s estate. A Protestant woman who married a Catholic lost her property. Later such marriages were prohibited, and a priest who performed them could be hanged. In 1709 a Protestant informing on a Catholic landowner for a violation of the law could be granted that person’s estates. Taxes on Catholics were higher. Although Catholics could vote until 1728, they could not serve in government. As a result many wealthy Catholics became Protestants. The English, Scottish, and Irish Protestants were only a quarter of the population of two million. In 1640 they had 41% of the land, but by 1703 they owned 86% and most of the businesses. From 1689 to 1715 about 50,000 Scottish Presbyterians came to Ulster. The Church of Ireland had 600 priests while the Catholics had three times as many priests.
In 1708 the French took back Ghent and Bruges, but the English and their allies defeated them at Oudenarde on July 11, inflicting twice as many casualties as they suffered and taking about 7,500 prisoners. The allies besieged Lille, which capitulated by the end of the year. In January 1708 Henry St. John exposed a document showing that less than 9,000 of the 30,000 soldiers Parliament supplied for the war in Spain had been at the devastating loss at Almanza. That month Godolphin and Marlborough j joined the Whig Junto. Harley resigned on May 11 along with St. John. They were replaced by the younger Whigs Henry Boyle as Secretary of State and Robert Walpole as Secretary of War. That month the union with Scotland and a failed Jacobite uprising there helped the Whigs gain 45 more seats in the July general election, giving them a majority; but Anne resisted the Whig Junto until her husband George died on October 28. Then John Somers was appointed President of the Council and Wharton the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland where he hoped to repeal the religious test. Also in 1708 in a secret agreement with Archduke Charles the British gained some trading rights for their merchants with Spanish colonies, and in September the British Navy captured Port Mahon to help trade in the Mediterranean.
A bad harvest in 1708 followed by a severe winter raised the price of grain and along with war taxes threatened famine and riots. In March 1709 Marlborough and Charles Townshend began negotiating with the Dutch at The Hague, and in May they presented 42 articles with their demands to the French minister Torcy; but Louis XIV rejected them on June 4 (NS). General George Maccartney was convicted of raping his housekeeper, and the Queen dismissed him from his command of an expedition to Newfoundland and from being Governor of Jamaica. On October 18/29 the British and Dutch signed the Barrier Treaty. The British agreed to support the Dutch garrisons protecting against the French, and the Dutch accepted the Hanover succession. At Malplaquet on September 11 Marlborough’s army suffered 21,000 casualties while the French lost 11,000 men in a battle involving 160,000 soldiers. England’s overall war spending in 1709 was £9,000,000.
By November the Whig Junto managed to get Parliament to approve a salary of £7,000 for the new High Admiral Orford. Whigs published Populi Vox Dei or True Maxims of Government arguing that people have the power to resist rulers who ignore the laws of God and Nature, and it had eight editions in the first year. The Whigs used their majority to pass the Naturalization of Foreign Protestants Act which accepted the sacrament in nonconformist chapels, arousing xenophobia among Tories in the country. Within two months some 8,000 Protestants had immigrated from the Palatinate.
On November 5 Dr. Sacheverell gave the sermon in St. Paul’s Cathedral that criticized the Glorious Revolution of 1688 as odious and unjustifiable, and it was soon printed as In Peril Among False Brethren. The Commons impeached him for sedition in December, and in March 1710 the Lords convicted him by a 69-52 vote but only suspended his license to preach for three years. The trial provoked demonstrations in London and in the country and made the Whigs less popular. Many believed the war was continuing because of those making profits such as the Dutch, Huguenots, and Jews. They aimed their attacks at the larger meeting-houses of dissenters. The first Copyright Act went into effect on April 1, 1710.
Marlborough in January 1710 had refused to give a regiment to Colonel Hill, brother of Anne’s new favorite, Abigail Masham, and in April the former confidant, the Duchess of Marlborough, quarreled with the Queen and lost her position at court. That month Anne appointed Charles Talbot, the Duke of Shrewsbury, as Lord Chamberlain. Shrewsbury sent the Earl of Jersey to negotiate peace secretly with the French. In June the Queen dismissed Secretary of State Sunderland, and in August the long-serving Godolphin was replaced by a Treasury Board with Harley as Chancellor of the Exchequer. By September the Whig Junto had resigned; Rochester became president of the Council and St. John a secretary of state, though Queen Anne liked Harley better than the deist St. John.
Allied victories at Almenara on July 27 and at Saragossa on August 20 helped Archduke Charles enter Madrid again, but their loss of 2,000 men in those battles made it necessary to evacuate the capital in November. British spending on the land war reached a peak in 1710 at £875,000. Many were sick of the long war with its heavy taxes and press-gang recruiting.
In the November general election the Tories gained 104 seats in the Commons, and the High Church leader William Bromley became Speaker of the House. On December 9 (NS) the British suffered a major defeat at Brihuega, losing 600 dead and 3,400 wounded or captured. Tory Members of Parliament opposing the war and favoring the landed interest and the High Church formed the October Club which by April 1711 had 150 members. On March 8 the Council was interrogating the French spy Guiscard when he stabbed Harley in the chest with a penknife, wounding him seriously. Then St. John and the Duke of Ormond mortally wounded Guiscard with their swords. Harley recovered and gained sympathy.
In 1711 the Tories passed the Land Property Qualification Act which would keep some merchants, industrialists, and financiers out of Parliament, the Act to Build Fifty New Churches, though only twelve new churches would be built in the next twenty years, and the Occasional Conformity Act. They also repealed the Protestant Naturalization Act.. The Newspaper Act imposed a tax on pamphlets, newspapers, and advertisements. The reconstructed government was led by the moderate Harley who in April 1711 began secretly negotiating a separate peace with France, and the next month he was made the Earl of Oxford. In July an army of 85,000 men led by Marlborough invaded France, avoided French lines, and after a siege of 39 days captured Bouchain on September 12. That was his last battle of this war, and a preliminary treaty was signed in London on September 27.
The Tory Jonathan Swift began editing the Examiner, and in November he published the pamphlet The Conduct of the Allies, which sold 11,000 copies in a month and criticized the Whigs and Marlborough for being infatuated by military glory and prolonging the war. Baron von Bothmer represented Elector George of Hanover in London and protested that Swift’s account was misleading, and the Daily Courant published his memorial on December 6.
The next day Parliament opened, and Whigs in the House of Lords managed to pass Nottingham’s resolution condemning any peace “without Spain.” Anne dismissed Marlborough on December 29, and that week she created twelve peers to give the Tories a majority in the House of Lords. In January 1712 the Commons expelled Secretary of War Walpole for corruption and sent him to the Tower. Also 1712 was the last year a person was executed for witchcraft in England.
The young poet Alexander Pope published his Essay on Criticism anonymously in May 1711, and it includes famous lines such as “A little learning is a dangerous thing” and “To err is human, to forgive is divine” and “For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” In 1712 and 1714 he satirized high society in The Rape of the Lock.
In 1712 the British Parliament restored the lay patronage of ecclesiastical livings in Scotland which divided the kirk and persisted for centuries, and the Toleration Act gave Episcopalians more freedom. In 1711 an export duty was put on linen. In 1712 the Stamp Act imposed a tax on documents, and the tax on salt increased. In 1713 Scots also complained about a tax on malt and penalties on Scottish linen and timber.
In January 1712 the peace conference at Utrecht began with Henry St. John representing the British. In the first half of 1712 the Parliament condemned the Dutch and supported the Government’s peace policy. The Tory majority in the House of Lords imposed a stamp tax on newspapers and pamphlets to reduce public criticism of the treaty. On July 12/23 at Denain the French led by Villars defeated Prince Eugene’s imperial army which lacked British support. That month English troops were withdrawn from the war. In June the Queen made Henry St. John the Viscount Bolingbroke but not an earl in recognition of his diplomacy on the treaty. In October he informed the French of Eugene’s planned attack so that they could prepare, and later he and Abigail Masham were accused of corruption.
The long War of the Spanish Succession finally ended in April 1713 when Britain, the Dutch, and France agreed to the Peace of Utrecht. Queen Anne announced the peace on April 9, and joyful celebrations began. The treaty allowed the British to demolish the fortifications at Dunkirk and recognized their control of Hudson’s Bay, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia in Canada, the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean Sea, Minorca and Gibraltar in the western Mediterranean Sea, and Fort James in Senegambia. The British also were given a monopoly on the slave trade which would enable the South Sea Company to transport 4,800 Africans a year to Spanish colonies in America. Britain and France agreed to a commercial treaty, but the Parliament continued its trade war anyway. Philippe was recognized as King Felipe of Spain, and Louis XIV recognized Queen Anne and her Protestant heirs and made the Pretender James leave France for Lorraine. The Habsburg Empire received much of the Spanish Netherlands, Milan, Naples, and Sardinia while the Duke of Savoy gained Sicily. In the general election of 1713 the Tories gained 23 more seats while the Whigs lost 25, giving the Tories a 354-148 advantage.
Queen Anne became seriously ill on December 24, 1713 and did not recover until February 1714. Harley had become Earl of Oxford, and in February he urged the son of James II to renounce the Catholic faith so that he could become King of England, but the Pretender James refused. On March 14 the Commons expelled Richard Steele for writing The Crisis which accused the ministry of sympathizing with Jacobites. In the spring Queen Anne, Harley, and Bolingbroke were severely criticized.
Four recessions in 1701, 1706, 1708, and 1710 were followed by recoveries and a boom from 1711 to 1714. Capital circulated more freely as interest rates for the general public were reduced to 5% by 1714. Yet that year the philanthropic Quaker John Bellers noted that only one in four Englishmen could afford medical treatment. During Queen Anne’s reign the national debt started at £12,800,000 and nearly tripled to £36,200,000 with annual interest payments rising from £1,200,000 to £3,000,000. This was also a violent era when highwaymen robbed travelers.
In 1698 Thomas Savery invented the first crude steam-powered engine that would be improved by Thomas Newcomen in 1705 so that by 1712 it could be used to pump water out of coal mines. In 1709 the English began making coke out of coal so that they could use it instead of charcoal made from wood in blast furnaces to make pig iron and cast iron. Although coke would not be used regularly for a half century, these innovations were an important step in the industrial revolution.
On May 28 the elderly Electress of Hanover died. Bolingbroke in early July got the Schism Act passed that required all teachers and tutors to get a license from a bishop, but it would not be enforced. Harley was dismissed on July 27. While Queen Anne was dying on July 30, the Privy Council got her approval to replace Harley with Shrewsbury as Lord Treasurer. Anne died on August 1, 1714, ending the Stuart dynasty that reigned over the uniting of England and Scotland, increased religious toleration, and a greatly expanded the economy and the colonial empire despite many wars. Parliament became much more powerful, and Anne was the last English monarch to veto an act of Parliament.
Daniel Defoe was born about 1660 and witnessed the Great Fire of London in September 1666 which left his house and one other in his neighborhood. One of his later novels, A Journal of the Plague Year, in 1722 would describe those events. His parents were Presbyterians, and he attended a dissenting school and a Unitarian Church. Defoe participated in the Monmouth rebellion of 1685 and was pardoned. He served William III as a secret agent, and in 1692 he was imprisoned because of his debts. After his release he traveled, and in 1697 Defoe published An Essay upon Projects in which he recommended reforms such as benefit societies, education for women, income tax, insurance, better roads, and asylum for the insane. In his poem “The True-Born Englishman” he defended their half-Dutch king by satirizing xenophobia. In 1702 he published the pamphlet, The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters; Or, Proposals for the Establishment of the Church that satirized High Anglicans by imitating their style and their persecution of noncomformists as he discussed the recently enacted toleration allowing dissenters to attend the Anglican Church once a year to qualify for holding a public office. The Tory ministry was offended, and Defoe was convicted of sedition, pilloried for three days, and imprisoned until he agreed to spy for the Tories. A few days after his release a great storm killed about 8,000 people who were mostly at sea. Defoe made this the subject of his book, The Storm, in 1704. The Speaker Robert Harley paid some of Defoe’s debts, and in 1706 and 1707 he spent sixteen months in Scotland as Harley’s agent working to persuade the Scots to accept union with England.
Defoe wrote and published The Review periodical from February 19, 1704 until June 11, 1713, giving more space to the Union than any other issue. On April 19, 1709 he wrote that they were fighting King Louis XIV and the French because they had invaded other nations and oppressed the common liberties of Europe. He suggested that their power needed to be reduced to achieve a “balance of power” so that of all the powers of Europe “no one or no united interest may be able to subject the rest.”1 When England offered to take in 10,000 refugees from the Palatinate, he wrote a plea to help the Palatines in The Review on August 11, 1709, concluding,
If, then, you will be well treated abroad,
if you will be taken up when shipwrecked,
if you will be clothed and fed
when you may be found naked and starved abroad
as many of our people come daily into such circumstances—
begin at home and show yourselves
a nation of pity and compassion to miserable strangers,
that others may show your distressed friends
the same beneficence.2
On August 1, 1712 a tax on news magazines and advertisements went into effect, causing many sheets to cease publishing.
In 1693 while Europe was suffering from the War of the League of Augsburg that embroiled in war England, France, Sweden, Spain, Savoy, Holland, and several German states, William Penn published one of the world’s excellent plans for international peace entitled “An Essay towards the Present and Future Peace of Europe By the Establishment of an European Diet, Parliament, or Estates.” Penn’s was the first peace plan that envisioned disarmament as the most effective guarantee for international peace. His points are relatively simple and well argued.
First, the value of peace is obvious when we look at the terrible ravages of wars, which cause so much suffering and destruction. Second, war and strife are prevented by means of justice, both for individuals and groups, resolving conflicts in a fair way. Third, justice depends on government to enforce laws impartially, and government gains its sovereign authority to do so from the consent of the people.
Fourth, peace in Europe may be maintained by forming a Sovereign Parliament of the European states to decide disputes collectively and unite as one strength in enforcing the decisions. Fifth, there are three ways the peace is broken: defending one’s own territory, trying to recover territory previously claimed, and trying to increase one’s dominion by invading another country. Sixth, governments claim sovereignty by succession, election, marriage, purchase, or conquest. Seventh, all of the European states, including Russia and Turkey, should be included in the Diet with votes equivalent to the value of their territory. Eighth, among regulations a secret ballot is recommended to prevent the corruption of bribes with the idea that the one bribing would have no guarantee whether his money was effective.
In the ninth section Penn answered objections. Even if the strongest nation refused to join, the others together could compel it. Small forces within each country could prevent a large army from forming. Youth not trained for war would not become effeminate if they were disciplined for some other type of work. States would still maintain their sovereignty over their own internal affairs.
In the tenth section Penn listed the many benefits of his plan. Bloodshed would be prevented, and towns and property would not be destroyed. The Christian countries would be more in harmony with the true teachings of Christ. Every country would save money, which could be used in more constructive ways. It would give the Christian countries security against the Turks. Travel between states would be free and easy, and personal friendships could develop between the peoples of different countries. Princes would not have to marry for political and diplomatic reasons but could establish unions based on sincere love. In his conclusion Penn reiterated the important principle that there must be a sovereign authority to settle disputes which is greater than the parties in conflict. Just as individuals have difficulty settling their own disagreements, so also nations often require an impartial authority to decide between them. As an actual example of a working federal system he cited the United Provinces which met at The Hague. The value of the principles in Penn’s plan can be seen in the success of the European Union three centuries after he suggested the idea.
A Quaker friend of Penn’s, John Bellers, submitted a similar peace plan to the British Parliament in 1710 with a very long title that begins Some Reasons for an European State proposed to the Powers of Europe. Bellers noted that the Council of State in Holland had declared in the preamble to their current war with Louis XIV that nations could not protect themselves from French power without a mutual union such as that which the Empire and the Republic of Venice had formed to defend against the Turks. Bellers suggested that the next general peace treaty could include a provision for an annual parliament of all nations to guarantee peace as all claims of states against each other could be settled and preserved by European law. Bellers proposed dividing Europe into one hundred equal provinces with each having one representative in the parliament and supplying one thousand soldiers or an equal value in ships or money. The Parliament would hear disputes, debate them, and settle them according to reason. This would enable states to disarm themselves, for Bellers asserted that peace without disarmament was little better than a truce. He hoped that all the Christian nations could put aside their differences in order to agree on general principles out of charity in order to prevent foreign wars. Bellers also wrote the essay, “Proposals for Raising a College of Industry of All Useful Trades and Husbandry,” recommending communities of workers with education for their children.
Also in 1693 Penn wrote Some Fruits of Solitude, which is often quoted for its moral and proverbial insights. The popular quote “Whoever is right, the persecutor must be wrong” is attributed to Penn by H. L. Mencken to Some Fruits of Solitude. Here are some quotes from Some Fruits of Solitude:
Frugality is good if liberality be joined with it.
the first is leaving off superfluous expenses;
the last bestowing them to the benefit of others that need.
The first without the last begins covetousness;
the last without the first begins prodigality:
Both together make an excellent temper.
Happy the place where ever that is found.
Were it universal, we should be cured of two extremes,
want and excess: and the one would supply the other,
and so bring both nearer to a mean;
the just degree of earthly happiness.
It is a reproach to religion and government
to suffer so much poverty and excess. (50-52)
Never marry but for love;
but see that you love what is lovely. (79)
There can be no friendship where there is no freedom.
Friendship loves a free air,
and will not be penned up in straight and narrow enclosures.
It will speak freely, and act so too;
and take nothing ill where no ill is meant;
nay, where it is, it will easily forgive,
and forget too, upon small acknowledgements. (107)
A true friend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily,
adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously,
and continues a friend unchangeably. (111)
Believe nothing against another but upon good authority:
nor report what may hurt another,
unless it be a greater hurt to others to conceal it. (145)
Inquiry is human; blind obedience brutal.
Truth never loses by the one, but often suffers by the other.
The truest end of life is to know the life that never ends. (489)
Love is above all; and when it prevails in us all,
we shall all be lovely,
and in love with God and one with another. Amen (556)
In 1694 Penn published “The Rise and Progress of the People Called Quakers,” which began as a preface to George Fox’s Journal. Penn described examples of Quaker testimonies. First, he noted their communion in loving and caring for one another. Second, they teach and practice loving their enemies. Third, they find that telling the truth is sufficient without taking oaths or swearing. Fourth, they do not fight and are willing to suffer instead. Fifth, they refuse to pay tithes to support a national ministry. Sixth, they do not respect authorities more than other persons. Seventh, they use the plain language of thou and thee to every person. Eighth, they practice silence and use few words. Ninth, they do not drink to people nor make pledges (toasts). Tenth, they marry without a priest or a magistrate as the man and woman before witnesses promise to love each other. Eleventh, they avoid ceremonies and festivals regarding birth. Twelfth, they perform burials with simplicity.
In their ministry Quakers change themselves before they try to change others. In preaching they let the Spirit of God move them rather than speak their own studied material. They emphasize being holy, not doctrines, verbal creeds, and ceremonies of worship. They direct people to look within themselves and to their own experience to find the truth. They find that even people in mean professions can understand divine things and express them. They are humble and despised like the primitive Christians. They are known for their constancy and patience in suffering for their testimony. They do not revenge but forgive their cruel enemies. They speak plain prophecies to those in authority who commit public and private sins. Then Penn described the life, character, and teachings of George Fox.
John Locke was born on August 29, 1632. His father was a lawyer and a captain in the Parliamentary Army during the Civil War. Young John attended Westminster School in London where he learned Latin and Greek well and also studied Hebrew and Arabic. He found the discipline harsh and did not like studying rhetoric. In 1652 he won a scholarship to Christ Church College at Oxford University where he earned his bachelor degree in 1656 and his master’s in 1658. In 1654 he wrote a poem in praise of Oliver Cromwell for the English victory over the Dutch.
Locke wrote Essays on Natural Law in 1663-64 but never published them. They were probably used for his lectures in Latin and Greek, and in 1664 he was the censor of moral philosophy. The first essay argues that the law of nature gives us a rule of morals, and it begins,
Since God shows himself to us as present everywhere and,
as it were, forces himself upon the eyes of men
as much in the fixed course of nature now
as by the frequent evidence of miracles in time past,
I assume there will be no one to deny the existence of God,
provided he recognizes either
the necessity for some rational account of our life, or
that there is a thing that deserves to be called virtue or vice.3
Locke agreed with Aristotle that ethics derives from the human mind’s ability to reason and that a “natural rule of justice” is valid everywhere. Laws of nature also derive from human conscience and the constitution of the world. Every community needs some form of government and the fulfillment of contracts. Without natural law there would be neither virtue nor vice with reward for goodness and punishment for evil. Locke was influenced by the writings of Hobbes, Harrington, Grotius, Pufendorf, Milton, Campanella, Guicciardini, and those favoring non-resistance such as Dudley Digges and Robert Filmer.
Locke did not want to become a priest; but he earned a bachelor degree in medicine and studied botany and herbs, and he began practicing by 1666. He was a friend of Robert Boyle who experimented with chemistry. In 1665 Locke went as secretary to the ambassador Henry Vane on a diplomatic mission to the elector of Brandenburg at Cleves.
In 1667 Ashley Cooper invited Locke to live in his home at Exeter House in London as his personal physician. Ashley had a dangerous abscess on his liver, and Locke supervised surgery that removed the abscess and implanted a silver tube through the stomach lining to the liver which was later replaced by a gold one. Ashley believed that this saved his life. In 1669 Locke was secretary to the proprietors of the Carolina colonies, and he worked with Ashley on the Constitutions of Carolina which established the slavery system. In 1671 Locke invested in the Royal African Company that was involved in the slave trade; but he sold his African investments fifteen years before he opposed slavery in his book on government. He began working on his famous Essay Concerning Human Understanding.
In 1672 Ashley became the Earl of Shaftesbury and Chancellor of England, and Locke was made secretary for him and the Council of Trade and Plantations for two years. He also had time to pursue his scientific and philosophical interests. In 1673 Shaftesbury delivered his famous speech on the Dutch war known as Delenda est Carthago with Locke prompting him from behind his chair. Locke probably assisted Shaftesbury with his Letter from a Person of Quality which was published anonymously in 1675. That year Charles II dismissed Shaftesbury, and his Council of Trade was abolished.
Locke went to France where he lived for three and a half years traveling, tutoring, practicing medicine, and writing. During this time Locke wrote the short essay “Morality” which de defined as “the rule of man’s actions for the attaining of happiness.”4 Good is what increases pleasure or diminishes pain, and evil is the opposite. Humans live in a world they did not create and “must either enjoy all things in common or by compact determine their rights.” Yet leaving them in common invites want, rapine, and force. He concluded that happiness cannot be attained without plenty and security, and thus the compacts must be kept so that justice can be established. Justice is thus the greatest duty and the most difficult.
In 1679 Shaftesbury returned to government as president of the Council, and Locke came back to England to resume his position. In 1680 Locke wrote The Growth of Vines and Olives for Shaftesbury, and he taught his grandchildren gentility. Locke helped Shaftesbury organize the liberal Whig party. They both participated in a meeting of Whig leaders at Cassiobury on September 15, 1682 that was called the “Insurrection Plot.” That year when King Charles was ill, Shaftesbury tried to instigate a rebellion led by the King’s natural son, James Scott, Duke of Monmouth; but Charles recovered. Shaftesbury fled in November to the Netherlands. The Whigs and Locke met again in Essex on April 24, 1683 and were accused of the Rye House assassination plot. He was friends with the republican Algernon Sidney, who wrote Discourses Concerning Government and was executed on December 7 for the Rye House plot.
On July 21 Locke witnessed at the Bodleian Quadrangle in Oxford the last burning of books in England. This may explain why he published most of his books anonymously. In September he took refuge in Amsterdam as Dr. Van der Linden and never went back to Oxford. England’s government denounced him as a traitor, but the Dutch did not extradite him. He worked on his writing and made friends with Remonstrants especially the Arminian theologian Philipp van Limborch. In his essay “Of Ethic in General” Locke concluded that laws are necessary to establish morality with the power to reward and punish. Also rules for human actions can be made known to all people. In “Pacific Christians” he argued that all Christians have an indispensable duty to maintain love and charity among the diversity of opinions.
Locke was prepared for the revolution in 1688 and returned to England about the same time as Willem’s wife Mary in February 1689. He declined diplomatic positions but served on the commission of appeals. Smoky London from burning coal damaged his lungs, and so he often stayed with Francis and Lady Damaris Masham at their country house in Exeter. Lock often suffered from asthma and a cough probably from bronchitis and emphysema. He never married.
Locke had anonymously published his Latin version of A Letter Concerning Toleration in Holland in late April 1688, though initial letters of Latin words meant in English terms “Professor of Theology among the Remonstrants, Hater of Tyranny, Lover of Liberty and Friend of Peace, Hater of Persecution, John Locke, Englishman.” Then he published it in English in November after his return. In August 1689 he anonymously published Two Treatises on Government and in December his long Essay Concerning Human Understanding. In 1690 he wrote the Second Letter Concerning Toleration and the Third in 1692 to answer criticisms of the Anglican cleric Jonas Proast.
Locke began A Letter Concerning Toleration by asserting that he considered toleration to be the chief characteristic of the true Church. Jesus taught his disciples that they are not to have lordship over others. Locke advised Christians to make war on their own lusts and vices. One cannot be a true Christian without charity and faith that works not by force but by love. He criticized those who pretend to save souls by depriving people of their property, maiming them with corporal punishment, tormenting them in foul prisons, and even killing them. To do such things that are contrary to the glory of God, the purity of the Church, and to the salvation of souls is worse than any conscientious dissent from Church doctrines or public worship. To perpetrate such persecution does not agree with what Jesus taught. God gave no authority to any person to compel anyone to a religion nor can any magistrate do so. Locke believed that true religion is based on the inward persuasion of the mind. Faith is based on believing, and no one can force anyone to believe something. Persuasion should use arguments, not penalties. The salvation of souls is not the job of a judge or magistrate. In a free society people worship God according to their own beliefs. Although Christians may suffer persecution for their beliefs, the Church of Christ should never persecute others or use force by fire or sword to make people accept their doctrine. Locke did not believe that any church was bound to retain a person who breaks the laws, but excommunication should not include persecution, and force belongs only to the magistrate except in self-defense against unjust violence.
Religion should not violate human rights nor injure anyone because of their own beliefs about the life to come. Churches are free and voluntary societies that should promote peace, equality, and friendship. Each church believes it is orthodox and that others may be heretical, but they have no right to punish those who disagree. Ministers and apostles who teach peace and goodwill to all should be good examples of charity and toleration. Ultimately the care of one’s soul belongs to oneself. No one will be saved by a religion they distrust or hate. Faith is an inward sincerity. No magistrate should have the power to compel the use of rites or ceremonies to worship God nor should they punish anyone for having different religious beliefs. Locke did consider making an exception for a religion or Church that required the believer to serve another prince such as the Roman Catholic Church because magistrates may not allow citizens to serve a foreign government. He also questioned whether atheists need toleration since they do not believe in God; but I doubt that he would have approved of the persecution of non-believers. He concluded that every person enjoys the same rights, and he noted that the Gospel does not exclude pagans, Muslims, or Jews from having civil rights; but he was mostly concerned about Christians persecuting other Christians.
Although Locke wrote in his preface when his Two Treatises on Government was licensed for publication in August 1689 that his book justified the English revolution, he probably did most of the writing in 1679-81. The Second Treatise was apparently written first. The First Treatise is a criticism of Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha which argued for a divinely ordained, hereditary, patriarchal, and authoritarian monarchy. Locke was careful not to have his name associated with this writing until he finally did so in a codicil to his will a few days before his death. The most complete and accurate version of the Treatises was the third edition in 1698 which he corrected by hand.
Locke’s Second Treatise on Government was published under the larger subtitle An Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent, and End of Civil Government. For Locke the state of nature for humans is based on freedom and equality. Humans are free because they exercise will, and they are equal because the power and jurisdiction of their actions is reciprocal with other humans. Being equal by nature the obligation of humans is to mutual love, and the great maxims are charity and justice. Liberty does not mean the license to destroy oneself or to harm or destroy others. Reason and law teach us that we should not harm the life, health, liberty, or possessions of other humans. We are all servants of our sovereign Creator. One man gaining power over another is a transgression, and the remedies are reparation and restraint which are usually called “punishment.” The offender is trying to live by a rule other than common equity and mutual security. Such a person becomes dangerous, and society has the right to punish the offender. Victims have the right to seek reparation, and magistrates are obliged to restrain offenders according to law.
Everyone has the right of self-preservation. Because of self-love people do not make impartial judges of their own actions. Locke believed that God appointed civil government to restrain human partiality and violence. Judges are answerable to the rest of mankind. Locke argued that people have the right to destroy those who are threatening them even though this creates a state of war. Anyone who tries to gain absolute power puts oneself in a state of war, and others will treat that person as an enemy. Anyone who attempts to enslave someone puts oneself in a state of war. Locke also wrote that people have a right to protect their property and may kill a thief, though using force without a right is a state of war. When an authority has power to give relief to an appeal, then war is excluded by the resolution of the conflict.
Locke suggested that property is what comes from the labor of one’s body and hands by removing and transforming things from the common state of nature. God gave the world to all people in common for their benefit, and from it men and women are able to draw the conveniences of life. Property is to be used industriously and rationally but not by fancy, coveting, or quarreling. Human life requires labor and materials which by necessity become private possessions. Because all humans have equal rights possessions should be in a moderate proportion appropriate for oneself. Locke believed that those who work land add to the common stock of mankind. Communities by laws regulate the use of property. Imperishable and precious metals such as gold and silver came to be used as money to improve on the barter system for exchanging goods. Yet gold and silver and other money can be hoarded.
All people are equal in freedom and rights; but parents naturally have power over their children until they have grown up. The purpose of law is to preserve freedom by providing security for one’s person and possessions. Education teaches children how to use reason and other abilities, and they gain more freedom as they mature. Freely acting by one’s will is aided by reason. Children are expected to obey their parents while young and honor them throughout their lives while parents are to treat their children with tenderness and affection. The first duty of parents is education. Locke wrote,
Conjugal society is made by a voluntary compact
between man and woman; and tho’ it consist chiefly
in such a communion and right in one another’s bodies
as is necessary to its chief end, procreation;
yet it draws with it mutual support and assistance,
and a communion of interests too, as necessary
not only to unite their care and affection,
but also necessary to their common off-spring,
who have a right to be nourished, and maintained by them,
till they are able to provide for themselves.5
Parents may also increase their property to pass on to their children. The husband and wife have equal rights.
Free people may sell their labor to employers for salary or wages, but the power of the employer over workers is limited by the contract. Laws and rules are the same for all people, and those in authority must judge them so. Transgressions against society may be punished to preserve rights. A civil or political society is when everyone submits to the public good. An absolute monarchy or despotism is inconsistent with civil society as history has shown many times. A civil society requires a legislature to make the laws. Legislators are to be chosen by the consent of the people and makes decisions by majority votes. Locke noted that commonwealths have often evolved from monarchies, and he assumed that power began with fathers using their strength to punish. Most monarchies have become elective, but in some societies military commanders rule, especially during wars. Peaceful beginnings of government are organized by consent of the people.
Locke argued that the main purpose of a commonwealth government is to preserve liberty and property. An executive power is needed to administer and enforce the laws and is usually separate from the legislature. The legislature should confine itself to working for the common good, and no one else can make or change laws. When the people choose the legislators, laws have the consent of society. No one should have the arbitrary power to destroy life or property as it would violate civil government. Government should not take property from anyone without one’s consent (by the legislature). Laws are to be the same for all and are not to be varied for rich or poor or favorites of the court. Government has the power of war and peace and may form leagues and alliances and make transactions using federative power.
If the government is dissolved, power reverts to the community which retains the supreme power and may form a new government. Using force without authority causes a state of war. Government may occasionally without a rule use prerogative for the good of the people, but rulers should not use it for private ends. Conquest in an unjust war is robbery and murder on a massive scale, and the conqueror gets no power over those who conquered with him. In a “just war” those who do not fight against the just force are innocent. Locke wrote that in a just war the conqueror has power over the conquered; but he has no right to their possessions nor to dominion, and the conquered may form a new government. The unjust use of force causes a state of war, and those guilty may forfeit their lives. A usurper by definition is unjust. A tyrant uses more power than is right because of ambition, revenge, coveting, or another passion. A king may not empower anyone to act against the law, and such a person has no authority. One may use self-defense if threatened with death; but for other injustices one should appeal to the law.
Governments may be dissolved from within when the legislature is changed or broken or when the monarch prevents it from meeting or when the monarch uses arbitrary power or does not enforce the laws or when a foreign power has taken over the people. When the government is dissolved, the people are free to elect a new legislature. People need not wait until tyranny is complete before rising up to prevent that. If the legislature or the executive acts contrary to their trust, the government may be dissolved. If the legislature tries to take away or destroy the property of the people or tries to make them slaves to a foreign nation, they are in a state of war with the people who are no longer bound to obey. Locke noted that revolutions rarely occur unless the violations are severe and persistent. If legislators rebel, a state of war occurs. The end of government is what is best for mankind. If there is no judicature on Earth, then God must judge. Yet every person judges for oneself. The people are supreme and have the right to form a new legislature.
Locke did put his name on his Essay Concerning Human Understanding in 1690, and his empirical philosophy would become very influential in the next century. In the first book of his Essay he argued against the theory of innate ideas. In the long book II “Of Ideas” he explained that all ideas come from sense perception and reflection on those experiences. Primary ideas are similar to external objects, but secondary ideas are more complex and involve modes, substances, and relations. The mind operates by perception, thinking, doubting, believing, reasoning, knowing, and willing as well as by memory, imagination, and intuition. Book III “Of Words” discusses nominal essences based on observation and their relation to real essences. Book IV “Of Knowledge, Certain and Probable” examines how and what one knows, and truth can be found by seeing how various knowledge fits together. Locke admitted that one’s existence is known by intuition, and he believed the existence of God could be proved by demonstration.
Locke’s long Essay concentrates on epistemology, but he also commented briefly on morality. For him the simple ideas of pleasure and pain become the basis of good and evil, and the emotions caused by pleasure are love, desire, joy, and hope while pain stimulates hatred, sorrow, fear, despair, anger, and shame. Envy includes desire and resentment. In discussing relations he suggested that the morality of our voluntary actions is evaluated by comparing them to laws that include reward and punishment. The divine law measures duty and sin, but the rewards and punishment are expected in another life. Civil law measures crimes and innocence, and penalties may be imposed by the government in order to protect others. Philosophical law measures virtue and vice and is similar to divine law, but there may be social reward or discredit to one’s reputation based on the opinions of others which may be based on fashions. Locke concluded, “Morality is the proper science and business of mankind in general.”6
Locke advised the government on currency reform and published Some Considerations on the consequences of the Lowering of Interest and the Raising of the Value of Money in 1691. In 1692 he wrote in “Ethica A” the following:
If then happiness be our interest, end, and business
‘tis evident the way to it is to love our neighbour as ourself,
for by that means we enlarge and secure our pleasures,
since then all the good we do to them
redoubles upon ourselves and gives us
an undecaying and uninterrupted pleasure.
In 1684 Locke in Holland began sending letters to advise his friend Edward Clarke about his son’s education, and he dedicated Some Thoughts on Education to Clarke on March 7, 1692 before publishing it anonymously in July 1693, though his name appeared on the French translation of Education.
Locke began by suggesting that “a sound mind in a sound body” is “a happy state in this world.” He believed that education is responsible for nine-tenths of what makes people good or evil. His first concern was the health of the child, and rather than spoiling or coddling children he recommended the natural upbringing of farmers or yeomen. Following the practice of Seneca, Locke advised soaking one’s feet in cold water daily, a practice adopted by Thomas Jefferson who lived to be 83. Children should be taught how to swim. Locke warned against taking a cold drink when hot from exercise or labor. The body grows better when not constrained by tight clothing, and he criticized the Chinese practice of binding girls’ feet. The diet should be plain and simple with very little flesh no more than once a day. One should be sparing with sugar and salt and should chew one’s food well. He noted that many countries have only two meals a day, and some ancient Romans only one. Because a full stomach does not aid learning, a good time for study is in the morning. He advised that sleep is good for children, and it can be reduced to eight hours in later years. He considered going to bed early and rising by dawn advantageous for health. The bed should be hard with quilts rather than feathers. He advised against taking medicine for prevention, and he recommended exercise and play in the open air.
The great goal and principle of Locke’s education is virtue, and he considered essential a person’s ability to deny one’s desires and appetites by following reason as to what is best. Parents who indulge their children too much will later see the bad effects. The child who learns to submit his will to reason will be better able to do so as an adult. Young children lack judgment and need to restrained and disciplined, but imperious severity can alienate the child. As they mature, youths should look on their parents as their surest friends. Locke believed that corporal punishment usually does more harm than good. Younger children need more restraint; but this should decrease and change as they are governed by reason. Whoever masters one’s inclinations by following reason learns the true principle of virtue and industry. Yet the mind must not be curbed and humbled too strictly lest the spirit be broken. The rod is especially to avoided in education, and shame can help one learn better than pain. A slavish discipline makes for a slavish temper. Locke made an exception if the child’s will was obstinate and rebelling, but this was a last resort. Childish and foolish actions can often be allowed. Flattering children with pleasant rewards should be avoided. Offering money or a tasty treat does not increase the motivation to learn but can lead to wrong inclinations and vices.
Locke advised treating children as rational beings. The incentive of esteem and the deterrent of disgrace are better for the mind than punishment. Children respond to praise and commendation. Wanting to have a good reputation can work until one matures enough to judge for oneself and use one’s own reason. Learning also can be enhanced by using sport and play. Locke warned against having too many rules, especially for younger children. He recommended using “kind words and gentle admonitions” more than “harsh rebukes and chiding.” Each child has their own nature and character to consider as it is difficult to transform someone completely. One should work for improvement. Locke considered affectation offensive because people hate what is false. Children are most influenced by example as they understand what they see better than what they hear. Parents and teachers should do nothing in front of a child they do not want imitated. Children need freedom to play as long as they do no harm. Locke believed that virtue is more difficult to get than knowledge of the world.
Children want to be free and have their good actions come from themselves. A happy child will learn much faster than an unwilling one. They can be allowed to wear themselves out playing and then have time to learn. Children who understand language can understand reason if the explanation is simple and on their level. Locke noted that in his era the rod was needed for learning Latin and Greek but not for French and Italian and other subjects. Locke felt that parents who help their children develop a good mind with virtue, usefulness, and civility gain more than they would by purchasing land. A tutor should have a good character and be a scholar. He should warn children of the vices in fashion and about how people may try to corrupt them.
Knowledge protects one against the world. Locke wanted education to prepare one to live in the world, not to dispute in the university. He advised parents that the sooner they treat their sons as men the sooner they will be such. The relationship then becomes friendship which is improved by communication about their activities and concerns. Parents by opening their hearts to their sons and daughters can gain their confidence. When parents are asked for advice, they can do so as friends unless some “fatal and irremediable mischief” is contemplated.
As a seeker of truth, Locke considered lying a serious vice, and he advised that parents and tutors should not allow them to go without reprimand and correction. The first lie can be reproved as a fault; but if they continue, sharp reproach is needed. Obstinate lying may require punishment. Confession should be commended, and the fault can be pardoned.
Children should be encouraged to be generous and liberal with their friends. Any injustice must be suppressed with abhorrence, and property must be understood. Children may be cruel to animals and need to be taught to be sensitive to all creatures and not to waste anything. In history they must realize that conquerors are “great butchers of mankind” lest young people think that such slaughter is praiseworthy. Kindness should be cherished. If youths treat servants and others with contempt and haughtiness, they need to learn to be gentle and courteous. Children are naturally curious, and they should be encouraged to ask questions and explore. Explanations should not be so complicated as to be beyond their capability.
Locke’s four main goals of education are virtue, wisdom, breeding, and learning. Virtue has been discussed. Wisdom enables one to manage business with skill and foresight. The child should become accustomed to truth, sincerity, and the use of reason. By “good breeding” Locke meant civility and the qualities of a gentleman. One is to think well of oneself and of others. One should please and respect others and not offend them. A civil person has an agreeable disposition. One should avoid being rough, contemptuous, censorious, and unjust. Locke found that Europeans often argue, dispute, and quarrel, but he noted that the American Indians, whom they called barbarous,
observe much more decency and civility
in their discourses and conversation,
giving one another a fair silent hearing
till they have quite done;
and then answering them calmly,
and without noise or passion.7
Locke put learning last of the four goals because he considered the least important. When a child can talk, Locke believed it was time to start learning to read but as play, not a task. He suggested putting letters on the faces of dice. He recommended pleasant stories such as Aesop’s Fables. The Lord’s Prayer, the Creeds, and the Ten Commandments could be learned by heart. Moral rules could be read, starting with the golden rule: “What you would have others do unto you, do you the same unto them.” Once the students can read English well, then they can be taught to write, followed by drawing. After speaking English well it is time to learn another language, and Locke recommended that French be learned by talk and conversation just as one learns English. Locke opposed the study of grammar until one had already learned the language. Thus Latin could also be learned by hearing and speaking it also. Grammar is not needed until one is ready to begin studying rhetoric. Students can also practice extemporary speaking.
After learning arithmetic Locke suggested one could go into geometry. Some geography and chronology he found necessary for understanding history. For learning virtue he suggested the Bible, Cicero’s Offices, On the Laws of War and Peace by Grotius, and two books on law by Puffendorf. Locke divided natural philosophy into spirits and bodies and recommended a history of the Bible for the former and for the latter writings by his friends Boyle and Newton who had published his Principia in 1687. Locke helped Newton gain a well-paid government position.
Locke also considered exercise and recreation important, and he especially mentioned dancing; but he argued that music and painting took up too much time to gain the requisite skill. He reiterated the importance of teaching mastery over one’s inclinations and submitting appetites to reason. As part of exercise and recreation he advised the practical work of gardening and carpentry. To prepare for business and trade he recommended learning how to keep accounts. Finally, he discussed travel but argued that the usual period of travel after schooling was not that beneficial. He considered that languages could be best learned from age seven to fourteen or sixteen but questioned whether foreign travel was advisable for children. Young men may not want to travel if they are marrying and raising children. Without his mentioning it that leaves later years. He concluded his book by advising his readers “to consult their own reason in the education of their children, rather than wholly to rely upon old custom.”
In 1693 Locke wrote a paper on naturalization as “the shortest and easiest way of increasing your population.” After the Edict of Nantes was revoked in 1685, thousands of French Huguenots wanted to emigrate to England. Many Anglicans did not want these foreign Protestants, but Locke argued that more people strengthen the country’s government and wealth. He noted that small Holland benefited from immigrants while large Spain was impoverished by a shrinking population. More workers improve the carriage trade and manufacturing.
Locke became the confidant of John Somers who had considerable power in the government from 1693 to 1700. The oppressive Licensing Act of 1662 had been renewed through 1693, and Locke was glad to see that it expired, ending pre-publication censorship in 1695.
That year Locke wrote The Reasonableness of Christianity, as delivered in Scriptures and published it in August. A second edition came out in November 1696 which included his Vindication in answer to John Edward’s criticisms that he was a Socinian (Unitarian). Locke argued that the main belief of the first Christians during the time of the apostles was that Jesus was the Messiah and son of God. Jesus offered a perfect life with eternal duration. Locke’s second major doctrine for salvation is that one must repent and follow the teachings of the Christ. He analyzed in detail the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles with a few references to the Epistles. Locke also revised his long Essay in three more editions.
In December 1695 Locke wrote Further Considerations concerning the Value of Money, and he favored the reform of the silver coinage. In 1696 he was appointed a commissioner on the Board of Trade and Plantations. In 1697 he drafted a proposal for a new poor law that the Board rejected. His plan was to compel the increasing number of vagrants and beggars over the age of 14 to be housed so that they could work or be put on British ships for three years. He retired because of chronic bronchitis and emphysema in 1700. In September 1703 Locke supervised the completion of an interlinear edition of Aesop's Fables in Latin and English with animal figures. He died peacefully, probably of congestive heart failure, on October 28, 1704.
The First Earl of Shaftesbury’s grandson Anthony Ashley Cooper was born on February 26, 1671 in London, and his mother’s marriage to the Second Earl of Shaftesbury had been arranged by John Locke who tutored the third earl. Locke assigned Elizabeth Birche to teach the boy Latin and Greek, and by the age of eleven Anthony was fluent in both classical languages. The young Shaftesbury then spent three years at the Toryist Winchester College, but he was glad to leave there to tour the continent with his distinguished tutor 1686-89 where he learned French and appreciation for cultural arts. He returned to England in 1689 and spent his time studying. In 1695 Anthony was elected to Parliament by the borough of Poole and served there until it dissolved in 1698. Because of asthma from the polluted air in London, Anthony did not seek re-election. He moved to Rotterdam, where he joined Locke’s friends, such as Pierre Bayle and the Quaker Benjamin Furley, until 1699 when he became the Third Earl of Shaftesbury. He attended the House of Lords regularly except during another stay in Rotterdam 1703-04. He supported the liberal Whigs and opposed the Tories. He published “An Inquiry Concerning Virtue or Merit” in 1699, and this and his other philosophical works were combined together in his three-volume Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times in 1711. In July that year he retired and moved to Naples where he died on February 15, 1713.
The Third Earl of Shaftesbury was skeptical of Christianity’s influence, and Locke and he and are two of the earliest influential Deists. Shaftesbury also emphasized freedom of thought and toleration. He could treat religious issues with humor and believed that God must be good-humored. He considered self-knowledge the best foundation for understanding human nature and urged people to have conversations within themselves as well as with others. He believed that God is benevolent and that having faith in God could improve one’s ethics, but he did not consider it necessary for attaining virtue. He criticized the selfishness of the Hobbes philosophy and found that altruistic motivations are perfectly natural because of the influence of society and its relationships. He held that most people are able to harmonize selfish interests with the common good. He argued that there can be no real virtue without knowledge of the public good. The person who is aware that virtuous action can lead to superior pleasure will prefer virtue to limited self-interest.
Shaftesbury was influenced by the Cambridge Platonists and may have been the first to use the expression “moral sense” in ethics, but he also felt that it is related to the aesthetic appreciation of beauty in music and the arts. In his intuitive perception of innate moral sense he differs from the empirical Locke. Shaftesbury believed that goodness and virtue are their own reward because they produce happiness. Virtue is a natural good, and vice is misery. The most generous and noble people are those who provide public service to society. As a sophisticated gentleman he also valued politeness in manners, but he was not afraid to criticize established Churches and dogmatic universities and schools. As a humanist he had a great appreciation for ancient culture, and he considered Socrates a model of the quest for self-awareness and ethical wisdom with his conversational method.
George Berkeley was born on March 12, 1685 into an Anglican family in Ireland and went to school in Kilkenny. At Trinity College in Dublin he earned a bachelor degree in 1704 and a master’s in 1707. He was influenced by Newton, Boyle, and Locke, and in 1709 he published his Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision and dedicated it to his friend John Percival with verses that included the prophecy, “Westward the course of Empire takes its way.” In 1710 he published his great Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge. He adopted Locke’s empirical approach to knowledge but transformed it with a metaphysical or spiritual perspective that challenged materialism. His Treatise met with considerable criticism, and in 1713 he published Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous, a Platonic conversation in which Philonous expresses Berkeley’s views and answers the concerns of the materialistic Hylas. Berkeley expressed his views on moral issues in sermons at the college chapel and published them in 1712 as A Discourse on Passive Obedience, or the Christian doctrine of not resisting the Supreme Power.
In his Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge Berkeley defines the objects of human knowledge as ideas which are imprinted on the senses or are perceived by attending to the emotions and operations of the mind or are formed by memory and imagination. That which knows or perceives them he calls “mind, spirit, soul, or myself.” He used the Latin phrase esse est percipi, which means “to be is to be perceived” to explain in his way that existence depends upon being in the consciousness of some being. Berkeley argues that all things exist in the mind or consciousness of the Eternal Spirit called God. Thus he believed that the only true substance is Spirit. The implication is that the human spirits or souls are part of the Spirit of God and that all of creation including perceptions, memories, imagination, emotions, and ideas of humans also are in the mind of God. He wrote,
A Spirit is one simple, undivided, active being—
as it perceives ideas it is called understanding,
and as it produces or otherwise operates about them
it is called the will….
Such is the nature of Spirit, or that which acts,
that it cannot be of itself perceived,
but only by the effects which it produces.8
Berkeley argued that only a spirit or mind can be an efficient natural cause because the entire creation is the work of a wise and good agent. Therefore he advised philosophers to concentrate on the final causes or purposes in life. The history of nature can still be studied by observation and experiments so that mankind can draw general conclusions. He believed that God’s goodness and kindness to humans administers the world. Those who are masters of justice and extensive knowledge may reflect and admire how divine wisdom and goodness shines through the economy of Nature. A soul enlightened by the omnipresent holiness and justice of omnipotent Spirit will not violate divine laws. Therefore he urged people to meditate earnestly so that they may understand “that the eyes of the Lord are in every place.” God is present and aware of our innermost thoughts, and we are absolutely and immediately dependent on Spirit. Berkeley concluded that the first place in our studies should be considering God and our duty. He also wrote in the Dialogues,
There is a Mind which affects me every moment
with all the sensible impressions I perceive.
And, from the variety, order, and manner of these,
I conclude the Author of them to be
wise, powerful, and good, beyond comprehension.9
Berkeley’s ideas on ethics and political philosophy are expressed in his Discourse on Passive Obedience or the Christian doctrine of not resisting the supreme power, proved and vindicated upon the principles of the law of nature which was published in 1712 based on three sermons he gave in the chapel of Trinity College at Dublin. Bishop Stock noted that Berkeley turned his attention to this issue in 1712 because of Locke’s Two Treatises on Government. Berkeley began his discourse by questioning the wisdom of resisting the supreme authority for “the public good.” He published his Discourse because false accounts of his sermons had gone abroad. He based his major premise on the following quote from Paul’s letter to the Romans 13:2: “Whosoever resisteth the Power, resisteth the ordinance of God.” Berkeley explained,
The fulfilling of those laws, either
by a punctual performance of what is enjoined in them,
or, if that be inconsistent with reason or conscience,
by a patient submission to whatever penalties
the supreme power hath annexed to the neglect
or transgression of them, is termed loyalty;
as, on the other hand,
the making use of force and open violence,
either to withstand the execution of the laws,
or ward off the penalties appointed by the supreme power,
is properly named rebellion.10
This statement makes clear that Berkeley approved of disobedience to unjust laws or governments provided that the person is willing to accept the penal consequences. What he opposed is violent rebellion as a means to correct the government’s errors. He accepted self-love as a universal principle, but he went on to consider the eternal laws created by God as divine will. If God is infinitely good, then these laws must also be good. Because he believed it is difficult to calculate the consequences of particular actions, he recommended relying on universal principles of morality given by God and understood by reason which he also called “laws of nature” and which are “stamped on the mind” and engraved on the heart. The ten commandments includes the universal ethical principles not to kill or steal or bear false witness or commit adultery. He argued that private and particular interests do not justify violating these eternal laws.
Humans need laws because we are social beings who depend on one another and because without them there is no order or peace and much confusion and calamities. The human laws of government should be protected by the higher universal rules of morality based on divine will and the understanding of reason. Although civil government is based on a social contract, a violation of it does not justify violent rebellion. The moral basis of civil laws is that they are to be applied to all persons. Berkeley disagreed with the axiom that “the end is more excellent than the means.” Loving one’s neighbor as oneself means not harming any person and is the most fundamental moral principle in my opinion. Berkeley considered not resisting evil with evil more important than obeying the civil power. Governors may oppress people because of avarice, ambition, cruelty, revenge, and other vices. Yet Berkeley warned that trying to redress the evils of government by force can make the public worse off than before because the supreme power has public treasure, forts, and armies. The nation may be plunged into civil war causing misery and death worse than an absolute tyranny. He suggested that government can be changed without the bloodshed and expense of war and the slaughter and banishment of citizens. Violent rebellion is sure to increase public calamities. Subordinate magistrates and other officers are not bound to obey unjust decrees or go against the laws of God. Berkeley wrote,
By virtue of the duty of non-resistance we are not obliged
to submit the disposal of our lives and fortunes
to the discretion either of madmen,
or of all those who by craft or violence
invade the supreme power.11
He also believed that citizens cannot be denied the liberty of judging for themselves in regard to changes in the government and other controversies.