3rd Parliament of King William III

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Paul Foley, Speaker PaulFoley.jpg
Paul Foley, Speaker

The 3rd Parliament of William III was summoned by William III of England on 12 October 1695 and assembled on 22 November 1695. It was the first election to be contested under the terms of the new Triennial Act passed in the previous Parliament which, amongst other things, limited the duration of the Parliament to 3 years. Its composition was 257 Whigs, 203 Tories and 53 others; Paul Foley, a Country Whig and member for Hereford, was installed as Speaker of the House of Commons.

William III of England King of England, Scotland and Ireland

William III, also widely known as William of Orange, was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from the 1670s and King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death, co-reigning with his wife, Queen Mary II. Popular histories usually refer to their joint reign as that of William and Mary. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is sometimes informally known as "King Billy" in Northern Ireland and Scotland, where his victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 is still commemorated by Unionists and Ulster loyalists.

Paul Foley (ironmaster) English politician

Paul Foley, also known as Speaker Foley, was the second son of Thomas Foley of Witley Court, the prominent Midlands ironmaster.

Hereford (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1885-2010

Hereford was, until 2010, a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Since 1918, it had elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first-past-the-post voting system.

Contents

In the first session of 1695–96 there was deadlock between the main parties over the issues of the value of the coinage (due to clipping and the adverse rate of exchange) and the proposal to set up a Council of Trade. A sudden threat of invasion unified the Whigs behind the First Whig Junto and enabled the Whig-dominated ministry to effect the recoinage on its own terms and establish a crown-appointed, rather than Parliament appointed, Board of Trade.

The First Whig Junto controlled the government of England from 1694 to 1699 and was the first part of the Whig Junto, a cabal of people who controlled the most important political decisions. The Junto was reappointed twice following the elections of 1695 and 1698.

Board of Trade committee of the United Kingdom Privy Council

The Board of Trade is a British government department concerned with commerce and industry, currently within the Department for International Trade. Its full title is The Lords of the Committee of the Privy Council appointed for the consideration of all matters relating to Trade and Foreign Plantations, but is commonly known as the Board of Trade, and formerly known as the Lords of Trade and Plantations or Lords of Trade, and it has been a committee of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom. The Board has gone through several evolutions, beginning with extensive involvement in colonial matters in the 17th Century, to powerful regulatory functions in the Victorian Era, to virtually being dormant in the last third of 20th century. In 2017, it was revitalized as an advisory board headed by the International Trade Secretary who has nominally held the title of President of the Board of Trade, and who at present is the only privy counsellor of the Board, the other members of the present Board filling roles as advisers.

In the second session a major event was the attainder of the Jacobite conspirator Sir John Fenwick. The proceedings were expedited when Fenwick threatened to implicate leading Whigs in the plot and the Attainder Bill was passed with a small majority in spite of there being only one prosecution witness. Fenwick was beheaded on 28 January 1697. His horse White Sorrel was claimed by the King and later stumbled and unseated him, hastening his death.

Sir John Fenwick, 3rd Baronet was an English Jacobite conspirator, who succeeded to the Baronetcy of Fenwick on the death of his father in 1676.

Other debate concerned the Chancellor of the Exchequer's efforts to raise money for the war effort. Although he successfully got approval for an extension of the Bank of England’s privileges until 1710 in return for a new loan of £5 million, he was defeated in his efforts to impose new duties on wine and textiles.

By the time the third and final session started in December 1697 the continental war had ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ryswick. Although the King wanted to maintain the large army as a deterrent, the Commons forced him to reduce it to 10,000 men.

Notable Acts of the Parliament

The Corrupt Practices Act 1695 was an Act of Parliament of the Parliament of England passed in 1696, the long title of which is "An Act for preventing Charge and Expence in Elections of Members to serve in Parliament." It was intended to counter bribery of the electorate at parliamentary elections, and it established that no candidate was to make any "Gift Reward or Entertainment" to a particular person, or a place in general, in order to be elected to serve in Parliament. This included acts by the candidate themselves, on their behalf, or at their expense, and both direct or indirect activity. Any person found guilty of engaging in, promising, or allowing such behaviour was to be considered incapacitated from serving in Parliament, and would not be allowed to take their seat or vote. To all intents and purposes, this would annul their election as a member.

Parliamentary Elections Act 1695 United Kingdom legislation

The Parliamentary Elections Act 1695 was an Act of the Parliament of England regulating elections to the English House of Commons.

Parliamentary Elections (Returns) Act 1695 United Kingdom legislation

The Parliamentary Elections (Returns) Act 1695 was an Act of the Parliament of England.

See also

The 1695 English general election was the first to be held under the terms of the Triennial Act of 1694, which required parliament to be dissolved and fresh elections called at least every three years. This measure helped to fuel partisan rivalry over the coming decades, with the electorate in a constant state of excitement and the Whigs and Tories continually trying to gain the upper hand. Despite the potential for manipulation of the electorate, as was seen under Robert Walpole and his successors, with general elections held an average of every other year, and local and central government positions frequently changing hands between parties, it was impossible for any party or government to be certain of electoral success in the period after 1694, and election results were consequently genuinely representative of the views of at least the section of the population able to vote.

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