Declaration of King James II, November 6, 1688

The following declaration was printed as a broadside at London by Charles Bill, Henry Hills, and Thomas Newcomb, 1688 (Wing J161).

James R.

We cannot consider this invasion of our kingdoms by the Prince of Orange without horror, for so unchristian and unnatural an undertaking in a person so nearly related to us; so it is a matter of the greatest trouble and concern to us to reflect upon the many mischiefs and calamities which an army of foreigners and rebels must unavoidably bring upon our people. It is but too evident by a late declaration published by him, that notwithstanding the many specious and plausible pretences it carries, his designs in the bottom do sned to nothing less than an absolute usurping of our crown and royal authority, as may fully appear by his assuming to himself in the said declaration the regal style, requiring the peers of the realm, both spiritual and temporal, and all other persons of all degrees, to obey and assist him in the execution of his designs, a prerogative inseparable from the imperial crown of this realm. And for a more undeniable proof of his immoderate ambition, and which nothing can satisfy but the immediate possession of the crown itself, he calls in question the legitimacy of the Prince of Wales our son and heir apparent, though by the providence of God there were present at this birth so many witnesses of unquestionable credit, as if it seemed to have been the particular care of heaven on purpose to disappoint so wicked and unparallelled an attempt.

And in order to the effecting of his ambitious designs, he seems desirous in the close of his declaration to submit all to the determination of a free parliament, hoping thereby to ingratiate himself with our people, though nothing is more evident than that a parliament cannot be free, so long as there is an army of foreigners in the heart of our kingdoms; so that in truth he himself is the sole obstructor of such a free parliament, we being fully resolved, as we have already declared, so soon as by the blessing of God our kingdoms shall be delivered from this invasion, to call a parliament, which can no longer be liable to the least objection of not being freely chosen, since we have actually restored all the boroughs and corporations of this our kingdom to their ancient rights and privileges, and in which we shall be ready not only to receive and redress all the just complaints and grievances of our good subjects, but also to repeat and confirm the assurances we have already given to them in our several declarations of our resolution, by God's blessing, to maintain them in their religion, their liberties and properties, and all other their just rights and privileges whatsoever. Upon these considerations, and the obligations of their duty and natural allegiance, we can no ways doubt but that all our faithful and loving subjects will readily and heartily concur and join with us in the entire suppression and repelling of those our enemies and rebellious subjects who have so injuriously and disloyally invaded and disturbed the peace and tranquillity of these our kingdoms.

Given at our court at Whitehall the 6th day of November, 1688, in the fourth year of our reign.

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