From the accession of William III. to the death of George II.
Our present Volume opens upon a new and brilliant phase of English History, After a bloodless Revolution, a new dynasty, whose title to power is founded in the choice of the People, succeeds the arbitrary and senseless misgovernment of the House of Stuart. The vigorous attempts of the exiled Royal Family to regain their lost throne are, one after another, crushed out; and the Act of Settlement fixes the succession definitely in the House of Hanover. In the meantime England is rising to a foremost place among the nations of the earth. The successes of Marlborough throughout the wars in the Low Countries raise the military fame of the nation to a height never before attained; while in the arts of peace it is not less renowned. Newton astonishes the world by his exposition of the laws of Nature; Swift, Pope, Addison, Steele, and a host of others, inaugurate the Augustan age of our literature; and Walpole and Bolingbroke lay the foundations of modern statesmanship. As the history of the period advances, its interest becomes more and more intense. A few fortified outposts on the coast of India develop into a vast empire; and the spirit and bravery of a few commercial clerks establish our ascendancy in Asia. The times that follow these are the most momentous, the most gigantic in their developments, and thrilling in their interest, which the history of the whole world has to present. In the very beginning of our next volume opens up the great North American Revolution, by which this country lost a colony, and the world gained a great and independent nation; - a vast field of new existence, to which the oppressed and destitute of all lands could flee, and amalgamate and grow into a new and most interesting world.
Close on the skirts of the romantic and inspiriting transactions of the American War of Independence rises the sombre and sublime story of the French Revolution, - the most peculiar and awfully interesting of all human events. From the midst of this tragic convulsion rolls forth, like a torrent of burning lava from a blazing volcano, the great European War, convulsing all nations, overturning nearly all thrones, devastating almost the whole surface of Europe, and presenting to our astonished gaze the lurid career of the most surprising conqueror in the world's history. No romance can bear any comparison with the history of the rise, triumphs, and fall of Napoleon I. We can find no such wild extremes, no such moral for ambitious kings, as those expressed in Lord Byron's "Ode to Napoleon:" -
"'Tis done - but yesterday a king!
And arm'd with kings to strive –
And now thou art a nameless thing:
So abject - yet alive!
Is this the man of thousand thrones,
Who strew'd our earth with hostile bones,
And can he thus survive?
Since he, miscall'd the Morning Star,
Nor man nor fiend hath fallen so far.
"Thanks for that lesson - it will teach
To after-warriors more
Than high Philosophy can preach,
And vainly preach'd before.
That spell upon the minds of men
Breaks, never to unite again,
That led them to adore
Those Pagod things of sabre sway,
With fronts of brass and feet of clay."
The conclusion of this marvellous drama of nations brings us into the very midst of our own times, and will close our next volume. It is obvious that as we come nearer to our own times, each successive year will require more ample space in our pages. Instead of the scanty records upon which we have hitherto had to rely, we are able to avail ourselves henceforth of the fullest and most authentic accounts of every occurrence we have to describe. Meantime, the area of our history is gradually widening. England, no longer isolated and self-contained, is playing a foremost part, and sustaining important interests in each quarter of the globe; by wars, by treaties, by commerce, mixing with and taking part in the transactions of every existing nation. Thus, in order to give a faithful idea of the history of this country, it will be necessary to give a sketch of nearly all contemporaneous events. The history of England is henceforth the history of the world.
Table of content
Chapter: I. Reign of William and Mary
Accession of William and Mary conjointly to the Crown - Disaffection of the Tories - Appointment of Privy Council - Claims of the Dutch for the late Expedition - Repeal of the Hearth Tax - James II. descends on Ireland - The Mutiny Bill - Relief of Dissenters - War declared against Trance - Rebellion in Scotland - Battle of Killiecrankie - Death of Dundee - Reception of James II. in Dublin - Siege of Londonderry - Party Spirit of the Whigs and Tories - The Indemnity Bill - Revival of the Tory Interest - Bill brought in to declare William and Mary rightful and lawful Sovereigns of the Realm - William sets out for Ireland - Schomberg's Successes - The Irish Campaign - Battle of the Boyne - Rejoicing amongst the Protestants - Conclusion of the Irish Campaign - Resume of Affairs in England - Return of William - Marlborough and the War with France - Jacobite Plots.
Chapter: II. Reign of William and Mary. - (Continued.)
William sets cut for Holland - Preparation for Invasion of England - James's Declaration - The Queen's Measures for Defence - Capitulation of Limerick - Irish Troops volunteer for France - State of Ireland after the War - Marlborough's Plot - His Disgrace - Fuller's Plot - State of the Highlands - Massacre of Glencoe - The Battle of La Hogue - Siege of Namur - Battle of Steinkirk - Conspiracy of Grandval to assassinate William- Case of Lord Mohun - East India Bill - King refuses to ratify the Triennial Bill - New Declaration of James - Battle of Landen - New Charter to the East India Company - Distress in France - Lottery Loan - Establishment of Bank of England - Proposed Land-Bank - Naval Affairs on the Coast of France, and in the Mediterranean - The Lancashire Plot, and Trenchard's Prosecutions - Death of Archbishop Tillotson, and Appointment of Tennison - Triennial Bill passed - The Death of Queen Mary - Greenwich Hospital founded.
Chapter: III. Reign of William III
Inquiries into Abuses in the Army - The Commons expel some of their Members for Corruption - Examination of Cooke, Acton, and others- Impeachment of the Duke of Leeds - Session of Scottish Parliament - Inquiry into the Massacre of Glencoe - Parliament of Ireland - Siege of Namur - Boufflers seized - Duke of Savoy takes Casal - Bombardment of St. Malo - Wilmot's Expedition to the West Indies - Commons remonstrate against a Grant to the Earl of Portland - Conspiracy to assassinate William - Land-Bank established - Louis makes Peace with the Duke of Savoy - Sir John Fenwick beheaded - Earl of Monmouth sent to the Tower - French take Barcelona - Neville's Abortive Expedition to the West Indies - Elector of Saxony chosen King of Poland - Peter the Czar travels in Disguise with his own Ambassadors - The Peace of Ryswick.
Chapter: IV. Reign of William III. (Continued.)
State of Parties - Standing Army reduced to Ten Thousand - A Revenue for Life granted to the King - Fraudulent Endorsements of Exchequer Bills - Charter granted to the New East India Company - Proceedings against Molyneux' Book in Ireland - Portland resigns - William disowns the Scottish Company - Goes to Holland - First Treaty of Partition - Intrigues of France at Madrid - William obliged to dismiss his Dutch Guards - Expedition to Darien - Spanish Remonstrance against the Treaty of Partition - Inquiries into the Expedition of Captain Kidd, and into the Irish Forfeitures - New Charter of Old East India Company - Dismissal of Somers - Death of the Duke of Gloucester - Expedition to the Baltic - Second Treaty of Partition - Death of the King of Spain - France claims Spain on the Authority of the King's Will - Philip, Duke of Anjou, acknowledged King of Spain by the States-General - Commons and Court not friendly - Succession settled on the Princess Sophia of Hanover - William acknowledges the Duke of Anjou King of Spain - Impeachment of Portland, Oxford, Somers, and Halifax - Progress of Prince Eugene in Italy - Treaty of Alliance between the Emperor and the Maritime Powers - Death of King James - Louis acknowledges the Prince of Wales as King of England - Harmony restored betwixt the King and Parliament - Bill of Abjuration - Affairs of Ireland - Proposed Union of Scotland and England - Death of King William.
Chapter: V. Reign of Queen Anne
Anne confirms William's Engagement with the Allies - Inclines to the Tories - War proclaimed with France - Appoints Commissioners to treat of a Union with Scotland - Keiserswerth and Landau taken by the Allies - Marlborough in Flanders - Nearly taken by the French - Affairs in Germany, Italy, and Poland - The Expedition under Ormond and Rooke against Cadiz - Spanish galleon destroyed at Vigo - Seafight betwixt Benbow and Du Cass in the West Indies - A Settlement made on the Prince of Denmark - Marlborough made a Duke - Bill for preventing occasional Conformity - Violent Contentions in Parliament and in Convocation - Affairs of Scotland - Progress of the War in Germany - King of Portugal joins the Alliance - The King of Spain visits England - Simon Frazer's Conspiracy - Grant of Tenths and First Fruits by the Queen to the Clergy - Opposition to Government in Scotland - Bad State of the Emperor's Affairs - Marlborough's March into Bavaria - Battles of Schellenberg and Blenheim - Siege of Landau - Campaign in Portugal - Rooke takes Gibraltar - Beats the French off Malaga - Manor of Woodstock granted to Marlborough - Affairs of Scotland and Ireland - Marlborough in Flanders - Hampered by the Deputies of the States - Visits the Court of Vienna - State of the War on the Rhine, in Hungary, Piedmont, Poland, and Portugal - Defeat of the French at Gibraltar- Amazing Campaign of Lord Peterborough in Spain - Battle of Ramillies - Siege of Barcelona raised by the English - Victory of Prince Eugene at Turin - King of Sweden marches into Saxony - Union completed with Scotland.
Chapter: VI. Reign of Queen Anne (Continued)
Overtures by Louis XIV. for Peace, but rejected - France threatened with total Ruin - Defeat of the Allies at Almanza - Abortive Attempt on Toulon - Wreck of Sir Cloudesley Shovel on the Scilly Rocks - Interview of Charles XII. of Sweden and Marlborough - Inactive Campaign in-tho Netherlands - Meeting of the. first British Parliaments-Inquiry into the Conduct of the War in Spain - Harley resigns - Pretender embarks at Dunkirk for Scotland - His Design defeated - Parliament dissolved - French take Ghent and Bruges, but are routed at Oudenarde - Defeat of the French at Wynendale - Bavaria besieges Brussels - Lisle surrendered to the Allies; Ghent and Bruges retaken - Conquest of Minorca - Rupture betwixt the Pope and the Emperor - Death of George of Denmark - New Parliament - Abortive Negotiations for Peace - The Allies take Tournay - Victory of Malplaquet - Surrender of Möns - The Spanish Campaign - Offers of Peace by France rejected by the States-General - Dr. Sacheverel impeached by the Commons - His Trial - Debates upon it in the House of Lords - He is silenced for three Years - Conferences at Gertruydenburg - Seizure of Douay, Bethune, Aire, and St. Venant by the Allies - Charles of Austria defeats Philip and enters Madrid - Battle of Villaviciosa - Fall of the "Whig Ministry - Dissolution of Parliament and Meeting of a new one - Marlborough coolly received in England.
Chapter: VII. The Reign of Queen Anne - (Concluded)
Marlborough unpopular - Inquiry into the Conduct of the War in Spain- Censure on those who invited the poor Palatines into England - Harley stabbed at the Council Board by Guiscard - Harley created Earl of Oxford - Death of the Emperor Joseph - Marlborough surprises the French Lines - Reduces Bouchain - The Duke of Argyll sent to command in Spain - King Charles elected Emperor - Expedition to Canada - Insolence of the Jacobites in Scotland - Overtures for Peace - Prior sent to Fontainebleau - Mesnager arrives privately in England - The Negotiation fails - Bill against Occasional Conformity passes - Marlborough dismissed from all his Employments - Twelve New Peers created - Prince Eugene visits England - Walpole expelled the House of Commons - Votes against Marlborough - Resolutions against the Barrier Treaty - Acts against Presbyterianism in Scotland - Conferences opened at Utrecht - Death of the Dauphin and his Son - Duke of Ormonde appointed to the Command in Flanders - Queen demands that Philip of Spain shall renounce the Crown of France - He consents - Duke of Ormonde unsuccessful in Flanders - The Allied Troops refuse to march with him - Allies defeated at Denain - The Duke of Hamilton and Lord Mohun killed in a Duel - Marlborough retires to the Continent - The Dutch sign the Barrier Treaty - Peace with France signed at Utrecht - The Scottish Lords move for the Dissolution of the Union - Violence of Parties - New Parliament - Treaties- betwixt the Emperor and France, and betwixt England and Spain - The Commons pray the Queen to set a Price on the Head of the Pretender - Death of the Princess Sophia - A Bill against the Growth of Schism - The Treasurer disgraced - Precautions for the Security of the Kingdom - Death of Anne.
Chapter: VIII. Reign of George I
State of Parties in England - George I. proclaimed - Electoral Prince created Prince of Wales - King arrives in England - Tories excluded from Favour - Pretender's Manifesto - New Parliament - Bolingbroke retires to France - Sir William Wyndham reprimanded by the Speaker - Admiral Norris sent to the Baltic - Resolution to impeach Oxford, Ormonde, and Stratford - Oxford sent to the Tower - The King announces to Parliament the Commencement of a Rebellion - Ormonde and Bolingbroke attainted - Death of Louis XIV. - The Earl of Mar erects the Pretender's Standard in Scotland - Members of the Commons arrested - Pretender proclaimed in the North of England by the Earl of Derwentwater and Mr. Foster - Mackintosh joins the English Insurgents - They surrender at Preston - Battle of Dunblane- Pretender in Scotland - Returns to France - The Rebel Lords tried-Lords Derwentwater and Kenmair beheaded - Trials of other Rebels - Septennial Act - Duke of Argyll disgraced - Triple Alliance betwixt England, France, and Holland - Count Gyllenborg, Swedish Minister in London, arrested - Oxford Riots - The Commons pass the South Sea Act, the Bank Act, and General Fund Act - Trial of the Earl of Oxford - Proceedings in Convocation respecting Hoadley, Bishop of Bangor.
Chapter: IX. Reign of George II
Accession of George II. - A New Parliament called - Onslow elected Speaker- Frederick, Prince of Wales, comes from Hanover - East India Company's Charter prolonged - A Bill passed, erdering all Pleadings and Processes of Law to be in English - Duke of Wharton dies - Pragmatic Sanction ratified - Stanislaus and Augustus both elected Kings of Poland- Spaniards conquer Sicily - Duke of Berwick killed before Philipsburg - Prince of Wales marries Augusta of Saxe Gotha - Don Carlos acknowledged King of Naples and Sicily - Riot in Edinburgh, and Captain Porteus hanged by the Mob - Prince of Wales and his Family dismissed from St. James's Palace - Queen Caroline dies - Princess of Orange comes to England, but is sent back to Holland - War with Spain proclaimed - Admiral Vernon captures Porto Bello - King of Prussia dies, and is succeeded by Frederick the Great - Emperor Charles VI. dies - Anne, Czarina of Russia, dies, and is succeeded by Elizabeth - Empress Maria Theresa succeeds to Charles VI. - The King of Prussia invades Austria - Anson's Store-ship, the "Wager," wrecked at Cape Horn - The King announces to Parliament his determination to support Maria Theresa- Battle of Molwitz - King of Prussia takes Brieg - George concludes a Year's Neutrality with him - Carthagena and Cuba unsuccessfully attacked by the English - King of Prussia takes Prague, Breslau, &c. - The Empress summons the Hungarian Nobles at Presburg, and they declare in her Favour; but the King of Bavaria is crowned King of Bohemia, and elected Emperor by the title of Charles VII.
Chapter: X. Reign of George II. (Continued.)
Carthagena attacked by the English unsuccessfully - Cuba attacked with like Result - Anson arrives at Juan Fernandez - A French Invasion threatened in favour of the Pretender - His Agent, Drummond of Bohaldie, arrives in Edinburgh - The King offers the Prince of Wales an additional Fifty Thousand Pounds a Year, which he refuses, unless Walpole be dismissed - Final Attack upon Walpole, who resigns - Made Earl of Ortord - Wilmington made Minister with Carteret, and the Marquis of Tweeddale Secretary for Scotland - King of Bavaria crowned Emperor of Germany as Charles VII. - Inquiry into Walpole's Administration - Paxton, Solicitor to the Treasury, committed to Newgate - Five Millions voted for the War, and Five Hundred Thousand Pounds to the Queen of Hungary - Battle of Czaslau - Prussia obtains Bohemia - Peace betwixt Prussia and Austria - Belleisle retreats across the Line - Pulteney made Earl of Bath - War on Italy by the Spaniards - Defeat of Spaniards at St. Christopher's - Spaniards defeated in Georgia by Oglethorpe - Cardinal Fleury dies - Bolingbroke returns to England-Wilmington dies; Pelham succeeds - Battle of Dettingen - Quadruple Alliance betwixt England, Holland, Austria, and Saxony - The Young Pretender sails for England, but is driven back - Louis XV. takes the Command of the Army in Flanders - Anson returns, laden with Spanish Treasures - King of Prussia takes Prague - Austrians driven from the Kingdom of Naples - Charles VII. dies - Walpole dies - Battle of Fontenoy - French take many Towns in Flanders.
Chapter: XI. Reign of George II. (Continued.)
Commencement of the Rebellion of 1745 - The Young Pretender embarks at Nantes - Lands with only Seven Companions - Raises the Standard of the Stuarts - Commences his March southwards - Enters Edinburgh - Routs the Royal Army at Preston Pans - The English Parliament suspends the Habeas Corpus, and raises Troops - Charles Edward marches for England - Crosses into Cumberland, and summons Carlisle, which surrenders - The Young Pretender evades the Forces of General Wade at Newcastle, and reaches Derby - Council of War there, and Retreat of the Rebels, pursued by the Duke of Cumberland - Skirmish near Clifton Moor - The Rebels re-enter Scotland - Edinburgh shuts them out - Rebels besiege Stirling Castle - Battle of Falkirk - Duke of Cumberland relieves Stirling - Reaches Nairn - Battle of Culloden - Twenty-five Thousand Pounds a-Year granted to the Duke of Cumberland for his Defeat of the Rebels - Flora Macdonald secures the Escape of the Young Pretender to the Western Isles - Flora taken and sent to London - Executions of Colonel Townley, Earl of Derwentwater, Balmarino, and Kilmarnock - Pretender embarks at Lochnanuagh, and reaches France - Philip V. of Spain dies, and is succeeded by Ferdinand VI. - Habeas Corpus further suspended - Lord Lovat beheaded - Flora Macdonald released.
Chapter: XII. Reign of George II. (Concluded)
A New Subsidy of One Hundred Thousand Pounds voted for Maria Theresa - The Allies beaten at Lauffeld - Bergen-op-Zoom taken by the French- French defeated at Exilles - Anson defeats the French Fleet off Cape Finisterre, and Hawke defeats them off Belleisle - Fox seizes forty of their ships in the West Indies - The Second Son of the Pretender is made Cardinal York - The New Parliament votes Fifteen Millions - Lord Chesterfield recommends Schools and Villages to civilise the Highlanders - The Young Pretender expelled from France - Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle - Treaty concluded there - The Army reduced - British Colony of Nova Scotia founded - The Prince of Wales dies - Prince George created Prince of Wales - Regency Bill passed - The Prince of Orange dies - The case of Mr. Murray - The Queen of Denmark dies - The Gregorian Calendar adopted - Forfeited Estates in Scotland settled on the Crown - Journals of Parliament ordered to be Printed - Disputes regarding the Establishment of the Princess-Dowager of Wales - Twenty Thousand Pounds voted to Mr. Harrison for his Improvement in Chronometers - Bill for the Naturalisation of Jews repealed - Death of Mr. Pelham - Newcastle made First Lord of the Treasury - French Encroachments in Canada - Fleets and Forces sent to America - Finance and England recall their Ambassadors - War in Canada and American Colonies - Fox made Secretary of State - Pitt and Legge recommend War - Operations in the Mediterranean - Admiral Byng arrested - Fox, Newcastle, and Hardwicke resign - The Duke of Devonshire Prime Minister - Calcutta taken by Sajah-u-Doulah - the Black Hole - Clive retakes Calcutta - War against Prussia by France, Sweden, and Russia - Byng tried and shot - Changes of Ministry - Expedition against Rochefort fails - The Duke of Cumberland defeated on the Rhine, and returns to England - Subsidy to Prussia - Riots in England - The English take Cherbourg - Operations in the West Indies, India, and America- War in Germany - Battle of Minden - Boscawen's Victory off Cape Lagos - Wolfe's Conquest of Canada - His Death-Coote's Conquest of Arcot - French land at Carrickfergus - Thurot, the Commander, killed - Lord George Sackville dismissed from the Army - Quebec attacked by the French, and relieved by Lord Colville - Austrians take Berlin, and destroy Breslau - Frederick recovers Berlin - Operations on the Rhine - Death of George II.
Chapter: XIII. Progress of the Nation