An ANSWER to a late Pamphlet, Intituled, A Short Scheme of the Usurpations of the Crown of England, &c.

THE World may very justly wonder at severa passages in this ill-designed, and as ill-writ Pamphlet, which the Author has taken the pains to collect from some petty Grubstreet Chronicle. Henry II. is call'd an Usurper (pag. 4.) because he accepted of the Crown of England in his Mothers Life-time; tho' by her not opposing his claim, it may very rea­sonably be concluded, that she freely consented to his promoti­on, as the most effectual means to secure the Crown to her Po­sterity.

But we are told, that a Crown is no Estate to be made over in Trust: if our Author's meaning is, that a Crown is an Estate which the Possessor cannot divest himself of by a voluntary Re­signation, both Reason, and a multitude of examples in several Ages, and Nations, prove that the Principle our Author has laid down, is founded on a gross mistake. Therefore if our Author designs to publish any more Schemes of Usurpation, let him first inform us what it is, and how far it extends, lest the World should accuse him of having as notoriously usurped to himself the Title of a Writer, as any of our Princes ever did the Crown of England. He would perswade his Readers to be­lieve that God punish't King Edward III. and King Henry V. for their Usurpations, with frequent and unexpected Victories, in the acquisition of which, tho' there was some English Blood shed (as it was impossible it should be otherwise) yet the Enemies paid an excessive price for it; after the defeat of their great Ar­mies, and the Imprisonment of their King, they being forced to buy their Peace upon such Terms, as our conquering Usurpers pleased to impose. Nor did ever any well-wisher to the English Nation deny, that these Two Princes were the Glory of their [Page 2] Age, and of our British History. If I should reckon up all the evident mistakes and false inferences in this Libel, it would be too tedious, since a careless Eye cannot easily overlook them.

If the Pamphlet finds so undeserved a reception in the World as to need a Second Impression, the Author is desired to add to it this Postscript; which being founded on the Principles asserted by him, will shew the World that he hath wilfully, and perhaps partially forborn to speak of as notorious an Usurper, as any that are mentioned in his Scheme.

Queen Mary, the Off-spring of an Incestuous Marriage, had no other unquestionable Divine Right to the Crown of England, than what was given her by an Act of Parliament, made in her Father's Reign, and the common consent of the Nobility and Peo­ple after the Death of her Brother King Edward VI. whose dispo­sal of the Crown by Letters Patents under the Great Seal, being directly contrary to the former entail of it, limited by a higher Authority: his Sister, the Lady Mary, was acknowledged Queen. Therefore, according to our Authors abstruse Notions, She (as well as her Grand-father Henry VII.) must be reckoned among the Usurpers of the Crown of England. Let us now see what success attended her, and whether the Nation was happy under her Government. As soon as She saw her self fixed in the Throne, She imprisoned and deprived several of the Protestant Bishops, contrary to the then Establish't Laws of the Realm: She intruded Popish Bishops into the Sees, thus declared vacant; the small remainder of the Protestant Bishops, who had been called to Parliament by Writ, were, nevertheless, violently thrust out of the Parliament-House, for refusing to Worship the Mass. The Members of the House of Commons, in her First Parliament, were chosen by force and threats: the Freeholders were hindred by violence from exercising their right of chusing Representatives: false returns were made; and those who were for the Reformed Religion, tho' duly elected, were by force expelled the House. So that we cannot wonder at the Statutes made in this pretended Free Parliament; which was in every thing influenced by the [Page 3] Court-Party. Shortly after, her Marriage with the haughty jealous Spaniard (of which She her self felt the ill conse­quences) was justly disliked by the Nobility and Commonalty. Her base design of setting up a suppositious Child for the Heir to the Crown, was not only happily defeated, but deservedly exposed to the censure of the Nation: Her Design to erect the Spanish Inquisition in England was disappoined. Calais (after having belonged to the Crown of England about Two hundred and Eleven Years, and which was gained with great difficulty, after Eleven Months Siege) was in the depth of Winter lost in a Weeks time: and quickly after, all the English Territories were with small difficulty recovered by the French. We must not forget how exactly She put in practice the base, treacherous, and destructive Principles of the pretended Catholic Religion, in these remarka­ble particulars. She barbarously used her only Sister, the Lady Elizabeth, and designed to have taken away her Life, for no other cause, but her firm adherence to the Protestant Religion; She imprisoned and burnt Arch-Bishop Cranmer, who had for­merly sheltered her from her Fathers fury; She deprived and im­prisoned Judge Hales, who alone resolutely opposed King Ed­ward the Sixth's Will; and preferred Judge Bromley to be Lord Chief Justice, tho' he had without any reluctancy prepared the Letters-Patents for her Exclusion. The Inhabitants of Norfolk and Suffolk, who were the first that took up Arms for her (upon her Promise to permit them the Exercise of their Reli­gion) were the first that suffered persecution under her. And after She had put to Death near Three hundred persons (with­out respect to Quality, Age, or Sex,) it pleased God to put an end to the Romish Cruelty and Idolatry, by her unexpected and unlamented Death. Nor is her Memory preserved from Oblivion by any thing, but her repeated acts of Cruelty and In­justice. This was the success that attended her, this the happi­ness, the Liberty, the Religion establisht in the English Nation, during her five Years Tyranny.

That I may not detain the Reader any longer, I will conclude this advice to our Learned Pamphleteer; That for the future he do not so positively ascribe all unhappy accidents, a frequent Wars, and Rebellions, the Effusion of English Blood the unfortunate end of some of our Princes, to the Divine Vengeance upon them, for the Usurpations he accuses them of since, if he will consult our Historians, he may find that Ed­ward II. Richard II. and the Incomparable Prince, King Charles I. tho' their Title from William the Conqueror is indisputable, were far unhappier than any of the Usurpers he mentions. That in Edward the Fourth's, and Henry the Eighth's Reign, a great deal of English Blood was shed both at home and abroad, tho' their right was unquestionable, and universally acknowledged. And that as to the promiscuous good or ill success of all Affairs in this lower World, the observation of the Wisest of Princes, and of Men, is very often exactly verified. There is one event to the Righteous and to the Wicked: To the Prince who ascends the Throne by an unquestionable Right, and to him that ascends it by Violence and Usurpation. To the Prince that religiously performs the Solemn Oath taken at his Coronation, and to him that wilfully breaks through all the Obligations he is un­der, and endeavours by the most base Methods to dissolve the Establisht Government.


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