4th Parliament of King William III

Last updated

The 4th Parliament of William III was summoned by William III of England on 13 July 1698 and assembled on 24 August 1698 (but prorogued until 6 December 1698). The party political constitution of the new House of Commons was 246 Whigs, 208 Tories and 59 others. Sir Thomas Littleton, the Whig member for Woodstock, was elected Speaker of the House. The house was divided between the pro-government faction led by the Whig Junto and a Country Whig-Tory alliance, the New Country party, led by Robert Harley.

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.

House of Commons of England parliament of England up to 1707

The House of Commons of England was the lower house of the Parliament of England from its development in the 14th century to the union of England and Scotland in 1707, when it was replaced by the House of Commons of Great Britain. In 1801, with the union of Great Britain and Ireland, that house was in turn replaced by the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.

Sir Thomas Littleton, 3rd Baronet, often Thomas de Littleton,, of North Ockenden, Essex and Stoke St Milborough, Shropshire, was an English lawyer and Whig politician who sat in the English and British House of Commons between 1689 and 1710. He served as Speaker of the House of Commons of England from 1698 to 1700, and as Treasurer of the Navy until his death.

Contents

Once assembled the House returned to the question of the size of the standing army. Harley moved, and the House accepted, that the English establishment be reduced to 7000 (plus a further 12,000 on the Irish establishment). By the end of the first session the Whig Junto were reeling from further attacks of the Opposition and during the summer recess Edward Russell (now Lord Orford) resigned from the Admiralty and Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax from the Treasury.

The Whig Junto is the name given to a group of leading Whigs who were seen to direct the management of the Whig Party and often the government, during the reigns of William III and Anne. It was the inspiration for Benjamin Franklin's Junto in 1727 Philadelphia upon his return from London. The Whig Junto proper consisted of John Somers, later Baron Somers; Charles Montagu, later Earl of Halifax; Thomas Wharton, later Marquess of Wharton, and Edward Russell, later Earl of Orford. They came to prominence due to the favour of Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland and during the reign of Queen Anne, Sunderland's son, the 3rd Earl succeeded his father. Opponents gave them the nickname "the five tyrannising lords". Other figures prominent around the edges of the Junto include Sir John Trenchard and Thomas Tollemache.

Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford First Lord of the Admiralty

Admiral of the Fleet Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford, PC was a Royal Navy officer and politician. After serving as a junior officer at the Battle of Solebay during the Third Anglo-Dutch War, he served as a captain in the Mediterranean in operations against the Barbary pirates.

Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax English politician and noble

Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax was an English poet and statesman.

After reconvening for the second session in November 1699 Harley pressed for further budget reductions including a reduction in the size of the Navy to 7000 men. He also wanted Irish forfeited estates, which commissioners calculated were worth £1,600,000, and which the King had granted to loyal followers, to be considered as public assets. After a stormy passage through the Lords, the supply bill eventually received Royal assent on 11 April 1700.

In the autumn of 1700 the King selected a new Tory dominated ministry and dissolved Parliament on 19 December.

Notable Acts passed by the Parliament

Billingsgate Fish Market fish market in Poplar in London, England

Billingsgate Fish Market is located in Poplar in London. It is the United Kingdom's largest inland fish market. It takes its name from Billingsgate, a ward in the south-east corner of the City of London, where the riverside market was originally established. In its original location in the 19th century, Billingsgate was the largest fish market in the world.

The Wool Act of 1699 was an Act of the Parliament of England, long titled An Act to prevent the Exportation of Wool out of the Kingdoms of Ireland and England into Forreigne parts and for the Incouragement of the Woollen Manufactures in the Kingdom of England. It was intended to increase England's woolen product manufacturing by preventing Irish wool production, manufactures, and export; it also forbade the export of wool and products from the American colonies. Competing woolens from these areas had recently become more available in foreign and domestic markets. The Act prohibited American colonists from exporting wool and wool products, or export to markets outside the individual colony in which it was produced, or to be transported from one place to another in the same colony. The act did not forbid the making of woolen fabrics for private consumption, but simply forbade the making of woolens for the public market. At this time the woolens exported from England had to pay heavy export duties. The act, one of the Acts of Trade and Navigation, was mainly aimed at Irish woolens and established a policy to crush the Irish woolen industry. It had little effect on the American colonies, at most it only slowed the potential industry. Shopkeepers had a very hard time during this period when the Wool Act was in force. Some colonists opposed this act by buying more flax and hemp.

The Governors of Plantations Act 1698 or "An Act to punish Governors of Plantations in this Kingdom for crimes by them committed in the Plantations" was an English Act of Parliament passed in the reign of William III of England.

See also

After the conclusion of the 1698 English general election the government led by the Whig Junto believed it had held its ground against the opposition. Over the previous few years, divisions had emerged within the Whig party between the 'court' supporters of the junto and the 'country' faction, who disliked the royal prerogative, were concerned about governmental corruption, and opposed a standing army. Some contests were therefore between candidates representing 'court' and 'country', rather than Whig and Tory. The Whigs made gains in the counties and in small boroughs, but not in the larger urban constituencies.

Related Research Articles

The Whigs were a political faction and then a political party in the parliaments of England, Scotland, Great Britain, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Between the 1680s and 1850s, they contested power with their rivals, the Tories. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute monarchy. The Whigs played a central role in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and were the standing enemies of the Stuart kings and pretenders, who were Roman Catholic. The Whigs took full control of the government in 1715 and remained totally dominant until King George III, coming to the throne in 1760, allowed Tories back in. The Whig Supremacy (1715–1760) was enabled by the Hanoverian succession of George I in 1714 and the failed Jacobite rising of 1715 by Tory rebels. The Whigs thoroughly purged the Tories from all major positions in government, the army, the Church of England, the legal profession and local offices. The Party's hold on power was so strong and durable, historians call the period from roughly 1714 to 1783 the age of the Whig Oligarchy. The first great leader of the Whigs was Robert Walpole, who maintained control of the government through the period 1721–1742 and whose protégé Henry Pelham led from 1743 to 1754.

John Somers, 1st Baron Somers British Baron

John Somers, 1st Baron Somers, was an English Whig jurist and statesman. Somers first came to national attention in the trial of the Seven Bishops where he was on their defence counsel. He published tracts on political topics such as the succession to the crown, where he elaborated his Whig principles in support of the Exclusionists. He played a leading part in shaping the Revolution settlement. He was Lord High Chancellor of England under King William III and was a chief architect of the union between England and Scotland achieved in 1707 and the Protestant succession achieved in 1714. He was a leading Whig during the twenty-five years after 1688; with four colleagues he formed the Whig Junto.

Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer English politician

Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, KG PC FRS was an English and later British statesman of the late Stuart and early Georgian periods. He began his career as a Whig, before defecting to a new Tory Ministry. He was raised to the peerage of Great Britain as an earl in 1711. Between 1711 and 1714 he served as Lord High Treasurer, effectively Queen Anne's chief minister. He has been called a Prime Minister, although it is generally accepted that the de facto first minister to be a prime minister was Robert Walpole in 1721.

Tories (British political party) dissolved British political party

The Tories were members of two political parties which existed sequentially in the Kingdom of England, the Kingdom of Great Britain and later the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from the 17th to the early 19th centuries. The first Tories emerged in 1678 in England, when they opposed the Whig-supported Exclusion Bill which set out to disinherit the heir presumptive James, Duke of York, who eventually became James II of England and VII of Scotland. This party ceased to exist as an organised political entity in the early 1760s, although it was used as a term of self-description by some political writers. A few decades later, a new Tory party would rise to establish a hold on government between 1783 and 1830, with William Pitt the Younger followed by Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool.

This is a list of the principal Ministers of the Crown of the Kingdom of England, and then of the Kingdom of Great Britain, from May 1702, at the beginning of the reign of Queen Anne. During this period, the leaders of the ministry were Lord Godolphin and the Duke of Marlborough.

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.

Charles Davenant British economist

Charles Davenant (1656–1714) was an English mercantilist economist, politician, and pamphleteer. He was Tory member of Parliament for St Ives (Cornwall), and for Great Bedwyn.

First Parliament of Great Britain parliamentary term established in 1707 after the merger of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland

The first Parliament of the Kingdom of Great Britain was established in 1707 after the merger of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland. It was in fact the 4th and last session of the 2nd Parliament of Queen Anne suitably renamed: no fresh elections were held in England, and the existing members of the House of Commons of England sat as members of the new House of Commons of Great Britain. In Scotland, prior to the union coming into effect, the Scottish Parliament appointed sixteen peers and 45 Members of Parliaments to join their English counterparts at Westminster.

1705 English general election

The 1705 English general election saw contests in 110 constituencies in England and Wales, roughly 41% of the total. The election was fiercely fought, with mob violence and cries of "Church in Danger" occurring in several boroughs. During the previous session of Parliament the Tories had become increasingly unpopular, and their position was therefore somewhat weakened by the election, particularly by the Tackers controversy. Due to the uncertain loyalty of a group of 'moderate' Tories led by Robert Harley, the parties were roughly balanced in the House of Commons following the election, encouraging the Whigs to demand a greater share in the government led by Marlborough

After the downfall of the Whig Junto during the previous Parliament, King William III had appointed a largely Tory government, which was able to gain ground at the election, exploiting the decline in Whig popularity follow the end of hostilities with France. During the election, the rival East India Companies attempted to secure the election of MPs sympathetic with their interests by interfering in the electoral process to some extent in at least 86 constituencies. Contests were held in 92 of the constituencies, just over a third of the total. The new Parliament lasted less than a year, and its proceedings were dominated by the attempt to confer the succession of the Crown on the House of Hanover.

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.

Robert Monckton was an English landowner and Whig politician who sat in the English and British House of Commons between 1695 and 1713. He took an active part supporting William of Orange in the Glorious Revolution, and was notable for his involvement in a number of exceptionally bitter and prolonged electoral disputes.

2nd Parliament of William and Mary

The 2nd Parliament of William and Mary was summoned by William III of England and Mary II of England on 6 February 1690 and assembled on 20 March 1690.

3rd Parliament of King William III

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.

5th Parliament of King William III

The 5th Parliament of William III was summoned by William III of England on 26 December 1700 and assembled on 6 February 1701. The party political constitution of the new House of Commons was 249 Tories, 219 Whigs and 45 others, representing a significant swing in favour of the Tories. Robert Harley, the Tory member for Radnor, who had declined a post in William III's new ministry, was elected Speaker of the House.

6th Parliament of King William III

The 6th Parliament of William III was summoned by William III of England on 3 November 1701 and assembled on 30 December 1701. Its composition was 248 Whigs, 240 Tories and 24 others; Robert Harley, the member for Radnor, was re-elected Speaker of the House of Commons.

3rd Parliament of Great Britain

The 3rd Parliament of Great Britain was summoned by Queen Anne on 27 September 1710 and assembled on the 25 November 1710. Under the Triennial Act, the Parliament was due to expire, if not dissolved sooner, at the end of the term of three years from the first meeting. In the event it was actually dissolved on 8 August 1713.

References