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Greenwich about six o'clock in the evening. The duke of Northumberland, captain of the lifeguards, being in waiting, with the lord chancellor, at the head of the lords of the regency,
received his majesty at his landing, and complimented him on his safe arrival. His majesty thereafter walked to his house in the park, accompanied by the most of the nobility, and a vast number of the principal gentry, and an incalculable multitude of people, who rent the air with their joyful acclamations, and the night concluded with bonfires, illuminations, and other demonstrations of public joy.
The duke of Marlborough, who, under the malevolent influence of the faction that misgoverned the nation during the last years of the queen, had been necessitated to go into a kind of voluntary exile, returned to England the very day the queen died, and, as the tories were in the wane, was received by the people of England with a warmth of affection somewhat proportioned to his extraordinary merits; and now, appearing at court with his usual splendour, was looked upon as already commander-in-chief, in room of the duke of Ormond. The duke of Argyle was also particularly distinguished, and was made groom of the stole to the prince, as an acknowledgment for his firmness to the protestant succession. There were also some others advanced to places of honour and profit, while his majesty had yet advanced no further than Greenwichi
On Monday the twentieth, the king and the prince passed from Greenwich, through the city of London, to the royal palace of St. James, with great magnificence, preceded by more than two hundred coaches of the nobility and gentry, each with six horses, the juniors marching first. The procession was met in Southwark, by the lord mayor, aldermen, recorders, sheriffs and officers of the city, on horseback, all
Tho. Fraser of Dunballoch
Hector MacLean of Coll
in their robes, forming a splendid addition to the already gorgeous pageant. His majesty was welcomed to his palace by three discharges of the park guns, and the evening concluded with all the usual demonstrations of public joy.
On the twenty-second the court was numerous and brilliant, and several foreign ministers, particularly those of France, Poland, Prussia, and Sicily, took that opportunity to compliment his majesty upon his happy succession and safe arrival. The council convened the same day, and the members present were, the lord chancellor, the dukes of Somerset, Northumberland, Bolton, Devonshire, Marlborough, Montrose, Roxburgh, and Kent, the marquises of Lindsay, Dorchester, and Annandale; the earls of Sunderland, Clarendon, Anglesea, Carlisle, Radnor, Rochester, Abingdon, Orford, Wharton, Cholmondely, Marr, Loudon, Findlater, Orkney, Hay, Oxford, Portmore, and Orrery; the lord viscount Townshend, the bishop of London; the lords Paget, Berkeley, Guilford, Somers, Guernsey, Mansel, Trevor, Lansdown, Bingley, and Coningsby; secretary Bromley, the vice-chamberlain Coke, the chancellor of the exchequer, the lord chief justice Parker, Sir John Holland, Sir Richard Onslow, Mr. Smith, Mr. Vernon, Mr. Erle, and Mr. Hill.
Coming into the council his majesty declared, that he anderstood the law required him at his accession to the crown to take and subscribe the oath relating to the security of the church of Scotland, which he was ready to do this first opportunity. His majesty accordingly took the said oath with the greatest cheerfulness, in the following words: “I George, king of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c. do faithfully promise and swear, that I will inviolably maintain and preserve the settlement of the true protestant religion, with the government, worship, discipline, rights and privileges of the church of Scotland, as established by the laws made there, in prosecution of the claim of right, and particularly by an act, entitled, act for securing the protestant religion and presbyterian church government; and by the acts passed in the parliaments of both kingdoms, for union of the two kingdoms. So help me God.”
After taking this oath, his majesty subscribed two instru
ments thereof, in presence of the council, one to be transmitted to the court of session, to be recorded in the books of sederunt, and afterward lodged in the public register of Scotland; the other to be entered into the council book, and remain among the records of council. He was then pleased to make the following declaration, which, at the request of the council, was made public:—“Having, in my answers to the addresses of both houses of parliament, fully expressed my resolution to defend the religion and civil rights of all my subjects, there remains very little for me to say upon this occasion. Yet, being willing to omit no opportunity of giving all possible assurances to a people who have already deserved so well of me, I take this occasion also, to express to you my firm purpose to do all that is in my power for the supporting and maintaining the churches of England and Scotland, as they are severally by law established; which, I am of opinion, may be effectually done, without in the least impairing the toleration allowed by law to protestant dissenters, so agreeable to christian charity, and so necessary to the trade and riches of this kingdom. The good effects of making property secure, are no where so clearly seen as in this happy kingdom; and I assure you, that there is not any amongst you shall more earnestly endeavour the preservation of it than myself.”.
The same day the prince was, by his majesty's command, introduced into the privy council, as was also the archbishop of York, the earl of Nottingham, and lord Halifax. The great seal was, at the same time, delivered to William lord Cowper, the earl of Nottingham declared lord president of the council, the earl of Wharton lord privy seal, and the earl of Sunderland lord lieutenant of Ireland. John, duke of Marlborough, was, shortly after, made colonel of the first regiment of foot guards, master-general of the ordnance, and captain-general of his majesty's land forces. John, duke of Argyle, was appointed commander-in-chief of his majesty's land forces in Scotland, Charles, duke of Somerset, master of the horse, and the honourable Robert Walpole receiver and paymaster-general of all the guards and garrisons, and all other his majesty's land forces in Great Britain. The honourable James Stanhope was made secretary of state, in the room of Mr. Bromley, and the duke
of Montrose, in room of the earl of Marr. The duke of Roxburgh was made keeper of the great seal of Scotland, in room of the earl of Seafield, and the marquis of Annandale lord privy seal, in room of the duke of Athol.
On the twenty-seventh his majesty, by letters patent under the great seal, was pleased to create his royal highness, George Augustus-formerly prince of Great Britain, electoral prince of Brunswick Lunenburg, duke of Cornwall and Rothsay, duke and marquis of Cambridge, earl of Milford-haven and of Carrick, viscount North Allerton, baron of Tewkesbury and Renfrew, lord of the Isles, Steward of Scotland, and knight of the most honourable order of the garter, prince of Wales, and earl of Chester.
The same day his majesty dissolved the privy council, and appointed a new one to be sworn in on the first of October. Many alterations followed, and a long list of promotions, which we pass over, as having but a slender connexion with our history
All these arrangements being completed, the twentieth of October was appointed for his majesty's coronation, when all things being prepared, he proceeded, with the usual solemnities, to Westminster abbey, where the bishop of Oxford, in an eloquent sermon from Psal. cxviii. 24. gave a striking delineation of the dangers the nation had been exposed to through the malepractices of the late ministry, and a glowing picture of the benefits that might reasonably be expected from the happy accession of his majesty. After sermon, his majesty was crowned and anointed, in the usual manner, by Dr. Thomas Tennison, archbishop of Canterbury; and all present, being asked, did publicly acknowledge his majesty as their king, and promised subjection unto him, crying out, God save the king.
66 The day of his majesty's coronation,” Rae, who was an eye-witness thereof, remarks, “was observed as a day of solemn rejoicing throughout his dominions. Cheerfulness appeared in the faces of all his good subjects, who were now in the peaceable pos: session of a protestant king, to the great disappointment of the popish and Jacobite party.
• Rae's History of the Rebellion, p. 103.
Addresses breathing the most ardent loyalty were presented to his majesty from all places of the kingdom. That from the royal boroughs of Scotland, before the Union the third estate of the kingdom, was particularly conspicuous for anticipating the preservation of religion, liberty, and presbyterial church government, as by law established, together with the prosperity of trade, in consequence of being freed from the encroachments and restrictions it had been laid under by destructive treaties of commerce, thus expressing the most decided disapprobation of the late pacification, and of the whole administration, as it regarded Scotland. The commission of the General Assembly of the church of Scotland, in addition to their address, testifying the most lively joy at his majesty's happy and peaceful accession to the crown, deputed, on this occasion, the Rev. principal Carstares, Mr. William Mitchel, and Mr. James Hart, ministers of the city of Edinburgh, Thomas Linning, minister of Lesmahago, and Mr. James Ramsay, minister of Kelso, to wait personally upon his majesty, and make known to him the great joy felt by the church of Scotland on account of his elevation to the throne of these kingdoms; the active part that church had taken to promote his interest; and the expectations she now entertained, not only of being safe from future encroachments, but of having those grievances, which her constancy to the line of succession in his family had been a principal mean of bringing upon her, speedily and completely redressed.* Thiş deputation did not arrive in London till the coronation was over, but they were introduced to his majesty on the first of November by the duke of Montrose, when principal Carstares made a speech to the above effect, to which his majesty made a most gracious reply; and the whole deputation had the honour of kissing hands on the occasion. They were also introduced to the prince and princess of Wales, and were most graciously received by these august personages, who testified the most grateful sense of the zeal and perseverance of the Scotish church, with regard to the protestant succession, and assured the commissioners that she might at all times depend upon their countenance and support:
See Mr. Carstares' specch at length. Rae's History, &c. p. 105