6th Parliament of King William III

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Robert Harley, Speaker RobertHarleyInColour.jpg
Robert Harley, Speaker

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.

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.

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.

Radnor or New Radnor was a constituency in Wales between 1542 and 1885; it elected one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliaments of England (1542–1707), Great Britain (1707–1800) and the United Kingdom (1801–1885), by the first past the post electoral system. In the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, the division was merged into Radnorshire.


The French King had made plain his expansionist aims in Europe with the threat that posed to English interests and public opinion was now in favour of war. The new Parliament busied itself with the necessary preparations. On 9 January 1702 the House of Commons received the text of the Grand Alliance between the King, the Emperor and the United Provinces. Both parties co-operated to fulfil the King's requests and by the end of February the ways and means arrangements were almost complete.

Grand Alliance (League of Augsburg) European coalition

The Grand Alliance is the name commonly used for the anti-French coalition formed on 20 December 1689 between England, the Dutch Republic and the Archduchy of Austria. It was signed by the two leading opponents of France; William III, King of England and Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, and Emperor Leopold, on behalf of the Archduchy of Austria.

But on 7 March 1702 the news broke that the King was dying and hurried arrangements were made to complete the war preparations. The following day the King was dead and had been succeeded by his sister-in-law, Queen Anne. Under an Act of 1696 Parliament continued to meet for the next two months to enable the new Queen and her ministers to finalise the essential war measures. On 2 May 1702 the Queen communicated to the Commons the declaration of war by England and her allies on France and Spain.

War of the Spanish Succession 18th-century conflict in Europe

The War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) was a European conflict of the early 18th century, triggered by the death of the childless Charles II of Spain in November 1700. His closest heirs were members of the Austrian Habsburg and French Bourbon families; acquisition of an undivided Spanish Empire by either threatened the European balance of power and thus involved the other leading powers. Related conflicts include Rákóczi's War of Independence in Hungary, the Camisard revolt in Southern France, Queen Anne's War in North America, and minor struggles in Colonial India. The 1700-1721 Great Northern War is viewed as connected but separate.

The Parliament was dissolved on 2 July 1702.

Acts passed by the Parliament

Correspondence with James the Pretender (High Treason) Act 1701 United Kingdom legislation

The Correspondence with James the Pretender Act 1701 was an Act of Parliament of the Parliament of England passed in 1701. The long title of the Act is "An Act for the Attainder of the pretended Prince of Wales of High Treason". After the death of the exiled James II of England in September 1701, his son, James Francis Edward Stuart, declared himself to be King James III of England and Ireland and VIII of Scotland, in order to assert the Jacobite claim to the English and Scottish thrones.

The Security of the Succession, etc. Act 1701 was an Act of the Parliament of England. The Act required nearly all office-holders to take the oath of abjuration against James Francis Edward Stuart, pretender to the throne, self-styled Prince of Wales and son of the former King James II.

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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.