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PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY

Part 1: Manuscript Minutes, Committee Books and Voting Records of the House of Lords, c1620-1714

Chronology, 1620-1714

1620

Pilgrim Fathers set sail from Plymouth in The Mayflower

1621

Common Protestation.  Attack on Monopolies.  Impeachments of Sir Francis Mitchell, Giles Mompesson and Sir Francis Bacon.  The Earls of Southampton and Oxford lead the campaign against Bacon in the House of Lords.  Cranfield becomes Lord Treasurer and continues campaign of financial economy measures.

1622

Thomas Archer and Nicholas Bourne authorised to print weekly periodicals dealing exclusively with foreign news.

1623

Failure of Buckingham’s mission to Madrid.  Amboyna massacre.

1624

Monopoly Act.  Subsidy Act provides the King with three subsidies but Parliament stipulates that this money should only be used for defence and assistance to the Dutch.  Impeachment of Cranfield, Earl of Middlesex.

1625

Death of James I.  Accession of Charles I.  Subsidies granted to Charles I for one year only.  Charles I marries Henrietta Maria of France.  Growth of Arminianism.

1626

Forced Loans first imposed by Charles I.  Privy Council stated that tunnage and poundage was an established part of the Monarch’s revenue and was not subject to Parliamentary approval.

1627

Five Knights’ Case.  Wentworth opposes Forced Loan.

1628

Petition of Right.  Buckingham assassinated.  Wentworth, previously one of the most outspoken critics of the King, becomes Charles I’s Chief Adviser and President of the Council of the North.  William Laud appointed Bishop of London.  Remonstrance on unauthorised collection of tunnage and poundage.  John Rolles and other merchants refuse to pay tunnage and poundage.  Commission for Defective Titles appointed to check into encroachments on Crown Land and to compound with Crown tenants.

1629

Speaker held down in his chair.  Only three Resolutions passed prior to dissolution of Parliament in March.  Start of Personal Rule by Charles I also known as “Eleven Years’ Tyranny”.  Charles I issued proclamation reiterating his right to collect tunnage and poundage.

1630

London merchants attempt boycott of trade in protest against the King’s collection of tunnage and poundage.  Commission for Defective Titles reappointed.  King also resorts to a further device “Forced Knighthoods” to raise more money.

1630-31

Books of Orders distributed to Sheriffs, Justices of the Peace and Municipal Authorities settling out the scope of the authority and duties of local officials.

1632

Charles I issues new Monopolies.  Wentworth appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland.

1633

Declaration of Sports.  William Laud appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.

1634

Charles I exercises right to collect Ship Money from coastal towns and counties.  Commission of Justice in Eyre to deal with encroachments on Royal Forests.

1635

Charles I extends collection of Ship Money to inland counties and towns.  Levied for six successive years, 1635-40, this form of taxation met with increasing opposition.  Commission for Defective Titles reappointed.  Inquiry into the state of Royal Finances by the Treasury Commissioners; Crown debts estimated at nearly two years ordinary revenue.  Cottington becomes Master of the Wards.  Chancellor of the Exchequer and Under-Treasurer.

1636

John Hampden refuses to pay Ship Money.

1637

The trial of John Hampden begins.  Trial of William Prynne in Star Chamber.  Charles I tries to impose a new Laudian Prayer Book on Scotland.  Start of the Scottish Crisis.

1638

The National Covenant.  The Scots were determined to resist “the introduction of Popery and Episcopacy” and the “Convenanters” formed an army of 16,000 men under Alexander Leslie to defend their rights.  Hampden’s case judgement in favour of the King’s right to impose Ship Money, but five out of the twelve judges find in Hampden’s favour.

1639

Withdrawal of Monopolies issued in 1632.  Wentworth recalled to England.  Increasing difficulties in collecting Ship Money.  Only £43,417 paid out of £214,000 assessed.  The First Bishop’s War.  The Pacification of Berwick.

1640

The Short Parliament.  The Second Bishop’s War.  Scots defeated the Royal Forces at Newburn.  Treaty of Ripon.  Charles decided to summon a Great Council of Peers at York, but afraid to act independently from the Commons, this Council advised the King to summon another Parliament.  Start of the Long Parliament.  Root and Branch Petition.  Wentworth created Earl of Strafford, Lord Lieutenant of  Ireland and Lieutenant-General of the Army.  Impeachment of Strafford.  William Prynne was released.

1641

Act for the Attainder of Strafford.  Acts abolishing Royal Financial Expedients and Prerogative Courts.  Triennial Act.  Act against Dissolving Parliament without its own Consent.  The Grand Remonstrance.  Trial and Execution of Earl of Strafford.  Ship Money made illegal.  Rebellion in Ireland.  Herefordshire Grand Jury Presentment.  Humble Petition of the Freeholders of Chester.  Humble Petition of the City of London.  Death of the Earl of Bedford, a moderate and influential figure who, according to Clarendon, might have helped bring about a settlement between King and Parliament. Further petitions advocating the Abolition of Bishops.  Archbishop Laud imprisoned in the Tower of London.  Profound differences over Religion between King and Parliament increasingly a major cause of division.

1642

Exclusion Act.  Charles fails in his attempt to arrest the five Members of Parliament – Hollis, Haselrig, Hampden, Pym and Strode – the leaders of the Parliamentary Opposition to the King.  The King decides to leave London.  Militia Ordinance.  Outbreak of the English Civil War.  King raises the Royal Standard at Nottingham.  Battle of Edgehill, Battle of Turnham Green.  The Nineteen Propositions.

1643

Impressments Ordinance.  Eastern Association Ordinance.  Weekly Assessment. Ordinance.  Compulsory Loans Ordinance.  Excise Ordinance.  Sequestration Ordinance.  Cessation Treaty.  “Treaty” of Oxford.  Battle of Chalgrove Field.  Battle of Atherton Moor.  Battle of Roundway Down.  Battle of Gainsborough.  First Battle of Newbury.  Battle of Winceby.  Battle of Nantwich at which Parliamentary Forces defeat Irish contingent supporting the King under the terms of the Cessation Treaty.  Parliament makes an alliance with the Scots known as the Solemn League and Covenant.

1644

Battle of Cropredy Bridge.  Battle of Marston Moor.  Battle of Lostwithiel.  Second Battle of Newbury.  Charles escaped to Oxford.  Committee of Both Kingdoms.  Goldsmith’s Hall Committee established to compound with Royalists for the return of their estates.

1645

Self-denying Ordinance compelled all Members of both Houses of Parliament to resign their commissions in the Army within 40 days.  Essex, Manchester and Waller gave up their commissions at once, but Fairfax, as Commander-in-Chief, and Cromwell, as his Lieutenant-General, retained their commissions by special Act of Parliament.  New Model Army Ordinance created an efficient large standing army.  Battle of Naseby; Battle of Langport.  Montrose, rising in favour of Charles in Scotland, was defeated by Leslie at the Battle of Philiphaugh.  King decisively defeated and this effectively ended the First Civil War.  “Treaty” of Uxbridge.

1646

Ordinance establishing Presbyterianism.   Prince of Wales leaves for France.  The Newcastle Propositions.

1647

Putney Debates.  Leveller Agitation.  Agreement of the People.  The Heads of Proposals.  Charles I makes secret engagement with the Scots.  March on London.  Remonstrance of the Army drafted by Ireton.  Charles I handed over by the Scots to the Parliamentary Commissioners at Newcastle.  He was taken from Holmby House to Hampton Court but he escaped to Carisbrook.  Charles I continued secret negotiations with the Scots, Presbyterians and Independents.

1648

Collapse of tentative alliance between Leveller Leaders and senior Army Officers.  Start of the Second Civil War.  Scottish Forces under Hamilton rose up in favour of Charles I and invaded England.  The Scottish Forces were defeated by Cromwell at Preston and Warrington.  The Army returned to London clamouring for the death of the King.  He was being held at Hurst Castle and was brought to Whitehall.  Pride’s Purge excludes all Members of Parliament who refused to sit in judgement on the King.  The remaining Members became known as the “Rump”.  The Vote of No Addresses.  Derby House Committee established.  Humble Petition drafted by John Lilburne.

1649

The Rump Parliament voted in favour of the Trial of the King.  Act abolishing the House of Lords and the Monarchy.  Trial and execution of Charles I.  Act establishing the Commonwealth.  Appointment of a Council of State made up of 41 members.  Censorship Act.  Disagreement over second and third versions of the Agreement of the People.  John Lilburne writes “England’s New Chains Discovered”.  Levellers dissatisfied and continued their opposition to the Commonwealth.  However, Leveller and other extreme republican elements in the Army were suppressed by Cromwell and Fairfax.  Army pay arrears were made good.  This greatly contributed to the restoration of law and order amongst the army rank and file.  Leveller leaders, such as John Lilburne, put on trial and many were executed.  Lilburne was acquitted and survived.  The Colonies of Barbados, Antigua, Bermuda, Virginia and Maryland repudiate the Commonwealth and proclaim in favour of Charles II.  Oliver Cromwell commands Army sent to Ireland to crush Rebellion.  Scots also denounce the execution of Charles I, refuse to accept the Commonwealth and proclaim Charles II as King.  He lands in Scotland and pledges himself to uphold the Convenant and the Presbyterian Religion.

1650

Seven professional Compounding Commissioners appointed to replace Parliament’s own Committee to order to allow Members of Parliament more time for Parliamentary business.  Cromwell returns from Ireland and immediately heads north with Fleetwood and Lambert at the head of an expeditionary force against the Scots.  Cromwell defeats the Scots at Dunbar.  Ireton replaces Cromwell in Ireland and successfully concludes the campaign.  Rump Parliament establishes a Council of Trade.  Act for the Propagation of the Gospel in Wales.  Repeal of the Acts of Uniformity.

1651

Charles II crowned as King by the Scots at Scone.  He then decided to march south into England having rapidly become weary of the constraints of the Presbyterians in Scotland.  Cromwell pursued and defeated him at the Battle of Worcester.  Charles eventually escaped to France.  General Monck was sent to restore law and order in Scotland.  Navigation Act passed forbidding the importation of any goods into England except by English vessels, or by vessels belonging to the country which produced the goods.  This inflicted a severe blow on the Dutch carrying trade.

1652

Start of the First Dutch War.  Commission on Law Reform chaired by Matthew Hale.  John Owen draws up plans for religious reconstruction.

1653

Bill for a new representative.  Dissolution of the Rump.  Legislation of the Barebones Parliament.  The instrument of Government establishes the Protectorate.  Oliver Cromwell appointed as Lord Protector.

1654

Treaty of Westminster concluded with the Dutch.  Cromwell sends military expedition to fight the Spanish in the West Indies.  Parliament questions the legality of the Instrument of Government.  Excise Duty extended to most merchandise.

1655

Cromwell dissolves Parliament.  Appointment of the Major-Generals.  Cromwell divided the country into 12 military districts, each under a Major-General, with almost absolute power.  Disputes between Cromwell and Parliament encouraged Royalists to plot against Cromwell and for the overthrow of the Protectorate.  War declared against Spain.  Penruddock’s  royalist rising in Wiltshire crushed by Desborough.  Additional ten per cent tax introduced on the estates of royalists in order to pay for the administration of the Major-Generals.  The Western Design, Cromwell’s ambitious foreign policy against the Spanish in the Caribbean is costly and largely unsuccessful.  Jamaica captured by forces under Penn and Venables.  Cromwell’s Printing and Printers’ Ordinance of the first Protectorate further suppressed all but ‘official’ publications.

1656

Cromwell’s Second Parliament.

1657

The Humble Petition and Advice.  Cromwell rejected the offer of the Crown.  Peace Treaty signed with France.  Reorganisation of the East India Company by Cromwell.  Monthly Assessment reduced to its lowest ever.

1658

Cromwell’s third and last Parliament.  The Commons refused to acknowledge a Second House as laid down by the Humble Petition and Advice.  Cromwell stifled discontent by abruptly dissolving Parliament after only 16 days.  The dissolution led to a stalemate with deadlock between the civilian and military factions on the Council.  Death of Oliver Cromwell.  His son, Richard Cromwell, was declared Protector, but he was unpopular with the Army and religious malcontents.  French and English forces defeated the Spanish at the Battle of the Dunes.  Dunkirk surrendered and was ceded to England.

1659

The Peace of the Pyrenees ended the war between France and Spain.  Parliament voted their official recognition of Richard Cromwell as Protector.  Fleetwood’s Army became hostile after attack in Parliament.  Cromwell agreed to dissolve Parliament and retire from office in return for a guarantee of safe conduct.  The Rump was recalled by the Army but on trying to bring the Army under closer control it was forcibly dismissed by Lambert.  A Committee of Safety, consisting of officers of the Army, was formed.  Monck marched south from Scotland to enter London.  Lambert tried to oppose Monck’s forces but the Army gradually deserted him.  Lambert was taken prisoner.

1660

Monck now entered London and recalled the Long Parliament.  Parliament dissolved itself to make way for a freshly elected assembly – the Convention Parliament.  Restoration of the Monarchy.  Charles II welcomed back to England as King.  Declaration of Breda issued by Charles II.  Act of Indemnity.  Act for the Confirmation of Judical Proceedings.  Navigation Act.  Monck created Duke of Albemarle.  Hyde created Lord Clarendon and became the King’s leading minister.  The Convention granted the King a fixed income of £1,200,000 for life.

1661

Cavalier Parliament elected following the dissolution of the Convention Parliament.  Its composition reflected the tide of pro-royalist feeling throughout the country.  Savoy Conference meets to discuss religious affairs.  Militia Act.  Corporation Act.  Introduction of the Clarendon Code 1661-5. Venner’s Rising.  Reactionary measures passed against Nonconformists.

1662

Militia Act.  Act of Uniformity.  Quaker Act.  Licensing Act.  Introduction of a Hearth Tax.

1663

Staple Act.  Charles eager to bring about measures for general religious toleration for Protestants and Catholics.  Anglican Bishops vigorously opposed Charles’ plans.  Although a Bill embodying the King’s proposals received some support in the House of Lords, the Commons refused to discuss it.  The Farnley Wood Plot.

1664

Conventicle Act.  Triennial Act.  Suppression of Nonconformists continues.  Sir Robert Holmes attacked the Dutch West African trading stations and seized the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam.  This was renamed New York.  De Ruyter recaptured the West African ports, but failed to retake New York.

1665

The Five Mile Act.  Outbreak of the Great Plague.  Start of the Second Anglo-Dutch War.  Battle of Lowestoft.  Battle of Bergen.

1666

The Great Fire of London.  France enters the War against England.  Fierce Naval fighting at the Four Day’s Battle and the Battle of North Foreland.  Start of Peace Negotiations at Breda.  Parliament moved to Oxford.

1667

Fall of Clarendon.  Political crisis.  Dutch blockade Port of London.  The Dutch Fleet under De Ruyter sailed up the River Thames, burning the dockyard and shipping at Chatham.  The Treaty of Breda was concluded with the Dutch.  Clarendon fled to France.  Charles’ solution was to surrender to popular demand and invite Buckingham into the Government.  This started the period of rule by the Cabal – Charles’ inner group of Ministers – Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley-Cooper and Lauderdale.  Amidst widespread fears of excessive corruption a Commission was appointed to inspect Public Accounts.

1668

The Triple Alliance was formed between England, the Dutch and Sweden to prevent Louis XIV of France from encroaching on the Spanish Netherlands.  The French King was forced to make peace with Spain at the Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle.  Charles II again put forward proposals for religious toleration but the House of Commons responded by refusing to make the customary Vote of Thanks for the King’s Speech at the Opening of the Parliamentary Session.  The Commons began work on another Bill against Conventicles to replace the 1664 Act which had lapsed.

1669

Parliament discussed accusations about the maladministration of the Dutch War and continued work on the Bill against Conventicles.  Parliament voted only £300,000 in supplies to the King at a time when the Crown’s financial situation was very serious.  Despite good work by the Treasury Commission in instituting a new credit order system and a retrenchment scheme, Charles’ extravagance prevented an overall improvement.

1670

A new Conventicle Act passed.  Parliament voted generous supplies but the King had already started to commit himself to alternative policies.  Treaty of Dover and Secret Treaty of Dover.  The Secret Treaty provided that Louis XIV would pay Charles II a total of £375,000 in subsidies in return for Charles’ support in a war against the Dutch and for his conversion to Roman Catholicism.  A version of this treaty omitting the Catholic clause was signed by all members of the Cabal.  Bates’ Case Judgement was given in favour of William Bates stating that schoolmasters could teach without a license if they were appointed by the founder or the lay patron of the school.  This judgement encouraged nonconformists to found new schools.  Revival of Quaker activity.

1671

Charles II continues secret negotiations with Louis XIV and plans for Third Dutch War.  James, Duke of York’s first wife, Anne Hyde, dies.  The Catholicism of the heir to the throne becomes a major political issue.

1672

Declaration of Indulgence.  Stop of the Exchequer.  Start of the Third Anglo-Dutch War.

1673

James, Duke of York is married to Mary of Modena, a catholic princess.  The King was forced to repeal his Declaration of Indulgence because Parliament was withholding supplies.  A renewed persecution of nonconformists ensued.    The Test Act was passed.  Those holding public office were forced to deny transubstantiation, and take oaths of supremacy and allegiance.  Thus many Papists were excluded from holding office.  Clifford, of the Cabal, and James, Duke of York were both disqualified from office.  The publication of the terms of the Treaty of Dover exacerbated Anti-Catholic feeling.  The Bill for the Ease of Protestant Dissension was passed by the Commons in the wake of this anti-Catholicism, but was stopped by the House of Lords.  Thomas Osborne, Earl of Danby appointed as Lord Treasurer.  Parliament granted £1.2 million, to the Crown, over 3 years for the prosecution of the Dutch War.  Disintegration of the Cabal.

1674

Buckingham and Shaftesbury removed from office.  Treaty of Westminster brings Third Anglo-Dutch War to an end.

1675

Danby encourages vigorous enforcement of the laws against nonconformity.  Dutch continue the war against the French.  Louis XIV again pays Charles II a small subsidy to keep him from succumbing to parliamentary pressure to re-enter the war.  Parliament concerned about expansionist aims of Louis XIV.  Danby tries to create a “court party” in the Commons to strengthen the government’s position.  Danby proposes a new Test Bill to exclude all Protestant dissenters from government office.  Danby’s retrenchment scheme to curb Royal expenditure approved by Privy Council but largely ignored by Charles II.  Parliament attempts to remove Lauderdale and draws up articles of impeachment against Danby.  Test Bill vigorously opposed in the House of Lords by Shaftesbury, Buckingham and Halifax.

1676

Louis XIV makes another secret agreement with Charles II to keep out of the Dutch War in return for subsidies.  Rebellion in Virginia.

1677

Shaftesbury, Buckingham, Salisbury and Wharton argued that prorogation of more than 12 months illegal but House of Lords sent them to the Tower of London.  French advance into Flanders.  Parliament demands that King take action to stop the French advance.  King adjourns Parliament.  William of Orange marries James’ eldest daughter Mary, the second-in-line to the English throne.

1678

Troops sent to help the Dutch.  Popish Plot.  Titus Oates, Israel Tonge and conspirators reveal scheme to murder Charles II, put James on the throne and forcibly restore England to Roman Catholicism.  Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, the magistrate who had taken Oates’ original depositions, was found dead and suspicion mounted that he had been murdered by Catholics.  Country is gripped by a wave of anti-Catholic hysteria.  Repression of Jesuits.  Second Test Act.  Impeachment of the Earl of Danby.  Danby dismissed from office and sent to the Tower of London.  Letters documenting his secret negotiations with France on behalf of Charles II revealed by Montagu.  Treaty of Nijmegen ended hostilities in Europe.

1679

First Exclusion Parliament.  First Exclusion Bill.  Habeas Corpus Amendment Act.  Meal Tub Plot.  Political nation split on the question of exclusion.  Growth of party factions with Whigs supporting and Tories opposing exclusion.  Charles II dissolved Parliament after it had only been sitting for two months.  Covenanter Rebellion in Scotland.  Lapse of the Licensing Act produced an outpouring of political pamphlets.  Sir William Temple suggested the formation of a Council of Thirty to mediate between King and Parliament.  Regular government for New Hampshire as a Crown Colony.

1680

Second Exclusion Parliament.  Second Exclusion Bill passed by the Commons but rejected by the House of Lords.  Viscount Stafford, one of the Catholic Lords, was impeached, imprisoned and then executed as a result of Titus Oates’ deposition.  Whigs, led by Shaftesbury, launch a sustained campaign of petitions in favour of exclusion.  Tories issue a series of counter-petitions.

1681

Third Exclusion Parliament.  Third Exclusion Bill.  Whigs, fearful of further conspiracies to bring back the Roman Catholic religion, brought armed followers with them to Oxford.  Charles II quickly dissolved the Oxford Parliament to avoid further discussion of the Exclusion Bill.  Archbishop of Dublin executed because implicated in the Popish Plot.  Catholics continue to be persecuted but enforcement of penal laws very erratic.  The violent conduct of the Whigs produced a great Tory Reaction and the Nation began to rally to the King.  Shaftesbury imprisoned in the Tower of London on a charge of Treason, but released by decision of the Grand Jury in London.   Beginnings of colonization of Pennsylvania with William Penn as Lord Proprietor.

1682

Shaftesbury fled to Holland.  The Charters of London and other towns which had supported the Whigs were examined by writs of Quo Warranto.  Government used its control of the judiciary to remove remaining prominent Whig leaders.

1683

Discovery of the Rye House Plot.  Renewed persecution of Protestant nonconformists.  The Whigs, Lord William Russell and Algernon Sidney were executed for their alleged part in the Rye House Plot.  The Earl of Essex committed suicide in the Tower before his trial.  Crown successful in its Quo Warranto action against London and other towns.  Crown begins issuing new Charters and extending its control over the appointment of new major office-holders.

1684

The Truce of Ratisbon.  Danby was released from the Tower, James was restored to the Privy Council and there was little or no outcry when, despite the Triennial Act, Charles did not recall Parliament.

1685

Death of Charles II.  Accession of James II.  Revival of the Licensing Act.  Revocation of the Edict of Nantes.  Monmouth’s Rebellion.  Battle of Sedgemoor.  Judge Jeffreys sentenced over 300 peasants to be hanged for their support of Monmouth.  Monmouth was captured and executed.  Argyle’s Rebellion in Scotland.  Earl of Rochester becomes Lord Treasurer.  Parliament was dominated by Anglicans, Tories and Royalists.  First session of Parliament voted James II additional impositions on sugar, wine, tobacco and vinegar for 8 years without strict control on their application.  Parliament was not totally submissive to the new King however.  It passed resolutions in defence of the Church of England and in favour of the existing penal laws.  The stormy second session of Parliament was brought to a close by the King after less than two weeks, it was clear that James intended to secure the repeal of the Test and the Corporation Acts.  James announced that the Army raised to fight Monmouth was not disbanded and he promoted a number of Catholic Army officers.  Halifax was discussed from the Privy Council because of his opposition to the King’s plans.  Further opposition in the House of Lords was led, not only by the Whig Earl of Devonshire, but by two other Privy Councillors, the Earls of Nottingham and Bridgewater, and by Henry Compton, Bishop of London.  Judge Jeffreys appointed Lord Chancellor.  Earl of Sunderland appointed Lord President of the Council.

1686

In the Godden versus Hales case a majority decision ruled that James II had the right to give individual dispensations from the Test Acts.  James proceeded to introduce further Roman Catholics into the Army, Privy Council, Local Government, the Universities and other important positions.  James sets up Court of Ecclesiastical Commission to control the Church.  Public confrontation between the King and Henry Compton, the Bishop of London.  James establishes a Licensing Office so that dissenters could buy certificates of dispensation.  Duke of Queensbury removed as Scottish Treasurer.  Scottish Parliament prorogued after refusal to grant indulgence to Catholics.  Earl of Rochester dismissed as Lord Treasurer.

1687

Declaration of Indulgence.  Second Declaration of Indulgence in Scotland.  James II grants extensive indulgence to all Roman Catholics, Quakers and Protestant dissenters.  He orders the appointment of a Catholic, Anthony Farmer, against the wishes of the Fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford.  Parliament officially dissolved by the King, although it had not met since the prorogation of 1685.  James begins a systematic purge of office-holders throughout local government.  Many Tory Anglicans replaced by Roman Catholics and Nonconformists.

1688

Declaration of Indulgence re-issued.  James II orders the Anglican clergy to read the declaration from the pulpit on two consecutive Sundays and orders the Bishops to circulate copies.  Archbishop of Canterbury supported by six other Bishops petition the King to be excused from reading the Declaration.  The “Seven Bishops” are arrested and placed in the Tower.  Birth of a son to James II and Mary of Modena and thus providing issue for a Catholic succession.  Trial and acquittal of the “Seven Bishops”.  Leading Whigs and Tories invite William of Orange to invade England.  William of Orange accepts invitation and calls for a free and lawful parliament to be assembled as soon as possible.  William lands at Torbay and begins march on London.  Risings in the North and in the Midlands in support of William.  James retreats with his army from Salisbury back to London.  James summons a Great Council in Whitehall.  William meets Royal Commissions at Hungerford.  Mary of Modena and the royal heir flee to France.  James attempts to escape to France.  Widespread anti-Catholic rioting in London but Glorious Revolution is completed without further conflict.  James leaves for France and William enters London.

1689

Meeting of Convention Parliament.  House of Commons declares that James II had abdicated and that the Throne was vacant.  Declaration of Rights.  William and Mary proclaimed King and Queen.  Parliamentary Committee begins work on Bill of Rights.  James lands in Ireland to start his campaign to regain the Throne.  Siege of Londonderry.  Toleration Bill and Comprehension Bill introduced in the House of Lords.  Scottish Convention passes Articles of Grievance.  William and Mary accept Crown of Scotland.  Toleration Act and Mutiny Act passed.  Comprehension Bill dropped.  Bill of Rights enacted.  Battle of Killicrankie.

1690

Convention Parliament dissolved and Second Parliament of William and Mary passes Act of Recognition to affirm the legality of the acts of the Convention Parliament.  Act Grace gives indemnity to all supporters of James II except those in treasonable correspondence with him.  Act establishing the Committee of Public Accounts passed.  Resignations of Shrewsbury and Halifax.  Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, five other bishops and 400 clergy deprived of their livings for refusing to take the oath to William and Mary.  Parliament prorogued in May.  A Council of Nine appointed to advise Mary during the King’s absence.  William departs for Irish campaign.  Battle of the Boyne.  Marlborough captures Cork and Kinsale.

1691

William defeats French and Irish forces at the Battle of Aughrim.  Treaty of Limerick concludes Irish War.  Revolution settlement of the New England Colonies.  New Charter granted Massachusetts.  Governor and other officials to be appointed by the Crown.

1692

Judges’ Bill passed by the House of Lords.  Treason Trial Bill defeated in the House of Lords.  Fourth session of William’s First Parliament criticises the conduct and expense of his military campaign in Europe.  In particular, Parliament criticised his failure to follow up the naval victory at the Battle of the Bay of La Hogue and the sequence of military setbacks in Flanders culminating in the loss of Namur and defeat at the Battle of Steenkirk.  Earl of Marlborough dismissed for communicating with James II.  Marlborough briefly imprisoned in the Tower.  Massacre of Glencoe.  A Place Bill was passed by the House of Commons and only failed in the House of Lords by a couple of votes.

1693

Parliament continues to criticise William’s conduct of the European War.  Admiral Russell forced to resign.  William becomes increasingly disillusioned with English politics.  His Ministers, Nottingham and Danby, fail to secure adequate war supplies.  Triennial Bill passed by both Houses of Parliament.  Nottingham dismissed.  Lord Somers, as Lord Keeper, leads the Whig Junto.

1694

Earl of Shrewsbury, a member of the Whig Junto, becomes Secretary of State.  Leading Tories, apart from Danby and Godolphin, are removed from office.  This leaves power largely in the hands of the Whig Junto consisting of Somers, Shrewsbury, Wharton, Russell and Montagu.  Triennial Act passed.  Queen Mary dies.  Expiration of Licensing Act and effective end to press censorship.  Bank of England established.  Tory opposition led by Rochester, Halifax and Nottingham.

1695

Danby forced to resign as Lord President of Council.  Whigs increase their control over patronage and government.  Their main stronghold was in the House of Lords.  In the Lower House the Whigs were served by two able parliamentary managers, Montagu and Wharton.  However, the Tory opposition led by Foley and Harley, voiced growing criticism of England’s escalating involvement in a full heightened scale continental war.  William recaptures Namur.  King dissolves Parliament in October and calls his Third Parliament to meet the following month.  This new Parliament was again dominated by a large Whig majority.

1696

An assassination plot to kill the King, led by Sir John Fenwick and the Jacobites, was discovered.  An Oath of Association to defend William and the Protestant Succession was promulgated throughout England and Wales.  Treason Trial Act passed and an Act establishing a Land Bank as a direct competitor to the Bank of England was piloted through Parliament by Foley and Harley.

1697

Execution of Sir John Fenwick.  Lord Somers made Lord Chancellor.  Charter of the Bank of England renewed.  Resignation of Godolphin as First Lord of the Treasury.  Appointment of Montagu.  Blasphemy Act passed.  Treaty of Ryswick signed bringing an end to the War of the League of Augsburg.  Resignation of the Earl of Sunderland.  Establishment of a Civil List.  Both Houses of Parliament approve Robert Harley’s motion to disband all military forces raised since 1680.

1698

William commits England to the First Partition Treaty without consulting Parliament.  William’s Fourth Parliament meets in December and discusses the East India Company Bill and a Bill for the Resumption of Royal Grants.

1699

Parliament discusses a Place Bill and a Disbanding Bill.  William is forced to drastically reduce the size of the English Army and disband his Dutch guards.  Act for Preventing the growth of Popery passed.  All persons who refused oaths of allegiance and supremacy were liable to lose their estates.  Persecution of Catholic school teachers and priests.

1700

Second Partition Treaty signed.  Collapse of the Whig Junto’s supremacy.  Parliamentary inquiry into the administration of the Navy.  House of Commons discusses a Bill to Resume all Royal Grants of Irish Land and resolves that the King should eject all foreigners from his councils.  As a result William prorogued Parliament.   He dismisses Somers as Lord Chancellor.  Duke of Gloucester, the last of Anne’s children, dies.  This leaves some doubts about the Royal Succession should both William and Anne die childless.  William returns from Europe in October and meets with Rochester, Godolphin and Harley.  He agrees to dissolve the existing Parliament, appoint Tories to office and consent to an Act establishing the Succession and embodying further limitations on the power of the Crown.  Parliament was dissolved in December.  Rochester was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and Godolphin was made First Lord of the Treasury.

1701

Parliament recalled.  Harley elected as Speaker of the House of Commons.  Commons begins impeachment proceedings against Whig Ministers Somers, Orford and Montagu for failure to consult Parliament over the Partition Treaties.  Act of Settlement passed.  Death of James II and James Edward proclaimed King of Great Britain and Ireland by Louis XIV.  Parliament dissolved in November.  Start of William’s Sixth Parliament in December.

1702

Parliament passes Act for Attainder against the Pretender, James Edward Stuart, Act of Abjuration of Pretender, requiring Oath of Loyalty to King and heirs according to the Act of Settlement.  Parliament starts discussions for an Occasional Conformity Bill.   Death of William III.  Queen Anne succeeds to the Throne.  Marlborough made Captain General for the Armed Forces.  Anne’s First Ministry formed under Godolphin as Lord Treasurer with nine Tories and three moderate Whigs.  Declaration of War on France and Spain.  Scottish Parliament proclaims Anne Queen of Scotland and nominates commissioners to discuss Union with England.  William’s Last Parliament prorogued.  Sacheverell delivers Oxford sermon against the occasionally-conforming dissenters.  General Election results in decisive Tory victory.  At first session of Anne’s First Parliament Harley is re-elected as Speaker of the House of Commons.  First Occasional Conformity Bill is passed by the Commons.  Parliament debates Queen’s proposed grant to Marlborough.

1703

Tory Bill against Occasional Conformity defeated in the House of Lords.  Commissioners discussing Union between England and Scotland fail to reach agreement.  Halifax cleared by the House of Lords of charges brought by the Commons’ Commission of Public Accounts.  Queen persuades Nottingham and Rochester to dismiss several Whig lord and deputy lieutenants, sheriffs and justices of the peace.  Rochester replaced by Ormonde as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.  Methuen Treaty signed with Portugal.  Scottish Parliament passes Act of Security.  Second Occasional Conformity Bill defeated in the House of Lords.

1704

Parliamentary Enquiry into the Scottish Plot.  Whigs in the House of Lords attempt to implicate Nottingham.  Dismissal of High Tory Ministers, Nottingham, Seymour and Jersey.  Harley becomes Secretary of State and Henry St John, Secretary at War, Marlborough wins a major victory at the Battle of Blenheim.  Amended version of Scottish Act of Security given Royal Assent.  Attempted scheme to tack a Third Occasional Conformity Bill to a Land Tax Bill defeated in the Commons.  House of Lords debates the Ministry’s Scottish policy.  Godolphin saved from censure by Whig peers.  Third Occasional Conformity Bill defeated in the House of Lords.

1705

Aliens Act, exerting economic pressure on Scotland to negotiate for a Parliamentary Union, became law.  Continuing conflict between the House of Lords and the Tory majority in the House of Commons leads to Parliamentary stalemate.  Queen dissolves Parliament and General Election results in Whig gains in the House of Commons.  Queen reluctantly agrees to appoint a Whig, William, Earl Cowper as Lord Keeper.  Furthermore, John Smith, a Whig was appointed as Speaker of the House of Commons at the start of Queen Anne’s Second Parliament.  The Hanover motion was defeated in the House of Lords.  Both Houses began to debate the Regency Bill.  The Scottish Parliament approved an Act for the appointment of commissioners to negotiate Union with England.

1706

Regency Act passed.  Scottish and English commissioners meet at Westminster.  Articles of Union signed.  Marlborough is victorious at the Battle of Ramillies.  Earl of Sunderland becomes Secretary of State.

1707

Act of Union passed.  Final dissolution of Scottish Parliament.  Second Parliament of Anne reconvenes as First Parliament of Great Britain.  Further Parliamentary enquiry into mismanagement of the Admiralty.  Tories launch attack in House of Lords on the conduct of the war in Spain.  Somers’ motion on “No Peace without Spain” is carried.

1708

Harley and St John are dismissed.  Robert Walpole is appointed as Secretary at War.  Harley’s clerk is charged with treason.  James Edward, the Old Pretender, lands in Scotland, but a French fleet sent to assist him is defeated by Admiral Byng and he soon returns to France.  Tories continue their attack on the conduct of the war in Spain in the first Alamanza debate in the House of Commons.  Godolphin’s Ministry is rescued by the Whigs in the Commons during the third Alamanza debate.  General Election results in a clear victory for the Whigs.  Marlborough is successful at the Battle of Oudenarde.  Somers and Wharton join the Godolphin Ministry.

1709

Bill for the Naturalization of Foreign Protestants passed.  Treasons Act and Protestant Naturalization Act passed.  Peace negotiations at The Hague broke down.  Battle of Malplaquet.  Sacheverell preaches against the Revolution at St Paul’s condemning the toleration of nonconformists and praising the divine right of monarchy.  He is impeached by the House of Commons.  Barrier Treaty.  Copyright Act.

1710

Marlborough threatens to resign in protest against the influence of Mrs Masham, the Queen’s Tory favourite.  Sacheverell Case.  He is suspended from preaching for 3 years.  Pro-Sacheverell rioters attack nonconformist meeting houses in London.  Dismissal of Sunderland.  Queen dismisses Godolphin and the Whig Ministry.  A Tory Ministry is formed with Robert Harley as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Henry St John as Secretary of State.  Parliament is dissolved and fresh elections provide Tory majority in the House of Commons at start of Anne’s Fourth Parliament.  New Speaker is William Bromley, a Tory.  Harley and Shrewsbury initiate secret peace negotiations with France.

1711

Property Qualification Act, Occasional Conformity Act and an Act to build fifty new churches passed.  Robert Harley becomes Lord Treasurer and Earl of Oxford.  Marlborough dismissed from office as Captain-General.  Ormonde replaces him as Commander-in-Chief.  House of Lords debate conduct of the war in Spain.  October Club launches its campaign in the Commons against the moderation of the Harley Ministry.  Bill to repeal the Naturalization Act defeated.  October Club Bill to resume William III’s land grants defeated in the House of Lords.  Harley’s South Sea Bill passed.  Major government crisis follows defeat by the Whigs in the House of Lords over Tory Ministry’s policy of “Peace without Spain”.  Crisis led to creation of 12 new Tory peers.

1712

Start of Utrechs peace conference.  Marlborough and Walpole censured by the Tory dominated Commons for alleged speculation.  Walpole imprisoned in the Tower of London for alleged corruption as War Secretary.  Bill to repeal the Naturalization Act passed.  Ministry narrowly defeated in the Lords on the Place Bill.  Tory Rebels, led by Sir Thomas Hanmer form ‘Hanoverian Tories’ group.  New Land Grants Bill failed in the House of Lords by 1 vote.  House of Commons, despite Whig protests, approve “Restraining Orders” sent to the British Army in Flanders ordering them not to make contact with the enemy.  Oxford’s Peace Policy decisively endorsed by both Houses.  Henry St John created Viscount Bolingbroke.  Last remaining Whig MPs in civil office weeded out.  Serious Cabinet clash between Oxford and Bolingbroke.

1713

‘Peace of Utrecht’, treaties of peace and commerce between Britain and France signed.  Crisis over Malt Tax and the Union, Ministry narrowly survives attack in the Lords by Whigs and Scots.  Government’s French Commerce Bill defeated in the House of Commons by Whigs and Hanoverian Tories.  “Lorraine Motion” against the Pretender carried in the Lords.  Queen Anne’s Fourth Parliament dissolved.  Whigs heavily defeated in England in the General Election but gain ground in Scotland, exposing serious Tory divisions on the Succession question.  Oxford defeats Bolingbroke in a struggle over control of the Ministry and Bolingbroke’s authority is further reduced by the appointment of Bromley and Mar as Secretaries of State.  Bishop Gibson produces the ‘Codex Juris Ecclesiae Anglicanae’, a comprehensive study of the legal rights and duties of the English clergy and of the constitution of the Church.  Oxford quarrels with Queen over the title of Duke of Newcastle for his son Edward and falls from favour.  Queen falls ill and the Succession question is pushed to the fore.

1714

First session of Anne’s Last Parliament begins.  Hanmer is appointed Speaker of the House of Commons.  Critical debates in the Lords on the State of the Nation,  Ministry under attack from Whigs and Hanoverian Tories.  Both Houses vote, by narrow majorities, that the Protestant Succession is not in danger under the present administration.  Schism Act passed.  Whigs attack Bolingbroke and his friends, in the Lords, for making illicit profits from Spanish Trade.  Parliament prorogued, cutting short enquiry into trade with Spain.  Oxford dismissed.  Illness of the Queen forces the calling of the Privy Council.  Pro-Hanoverian Duke of Shrewsbury is appointed Lord Treasurer in place of Oxford.  Queen Anne dies and Act of Settlement comes into operation.  Government by Regency.  Bolingbroke dismissed.  George I arrives in England.

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