5th Parliament of King William III

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Robert Harley, Speaker RobertHarleyInColour.jpg
Robert Harley, Speaker

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.

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.

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.

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The two main issues facing the new Parliament were clear. One was the issue of the succession, following the death of Princess Anne's only surviving child during the Summer and the other was the threat of war with France. A ‘bill of settlement’, which would invite the Protestant House of Hanover to accept the English throne was piloted through both Houses, albeit on terms which would further restrict royal prerogative, by 22 May 1701.

House of Hanover German royal dynasty

The House of Hanover, whose members are known as Hanoverians, is a German royal house that ruled Hanover, Great Britain, and Ireland at various times during the 17th through 20th centuries. The house originated in 1635 as a cadet branch of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg, growing in prestige until Hanover became an Electorate in 1692. George I became the first Hanoverian monarch of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714. At Victoria's death in 1901, the throne of the United Kingdom passed to her eldest son Edward VII, a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The last reigning members of the House lost the Duchy of Brunswick in 1918 when Germany became a republic.

Initially Parliament was of one accord as far as the ratification of the second Partition Treaty, which was an agreement between Britain and other powers to decide the division of the Spanish kingdom and Empire upon the death on 1 November 1700 of the imbecilic King Carlos II without heirs. When Parliament discovered that the King's emissary Lord Portland had already concluded the treaty without their knowledge or approval he was impeached, followed by Junto members Charles Montagu, the Earl of Orford and John Somers. All, however, escaped punishment.

William Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland Dutch and English nobleman

Hans William Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland, Baron Bentinck of Diepenheim and Schoonheten, was a Dutch and English nobleman who became in an early stage the favourite of William, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder in the Netherlands, and future King of England. He was reportedly steady, sensible, modest and usually moderate. The friendship and cooperation stopped in 1699.

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

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

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.

Outspoken Tory reluctance to finance another war with Spain had mellowed by the end of the Parliament. The Whigs were very much in favour of war and persuaded the King of the need for another election that year. Parliament was thus dissolved on 11 November 1701 and another Parliament summoned later that month.

Notable Acts passed in the Parliament

Act of Settlement 1701 Former United Kingdom law disqualifying Catholic monarchs

The Act of Settlement is an Act of the Parliament of England that was passed in 1701 to settle the succession to the English and Irish crowns on Protestants only. The next Protestant in line to the throne was the Electress Sophia of Hanover, a granddaughter of James VI of Scotland, I of England and Ireland. After her the crowns would descend only to her non-Roman Catholic heirs.

Plate Assay Act 1700 United Kingdom legislation

The Plate Assay Act 1700 was an Act of the Parliament of England.

See also

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