Protest of the Cardinal Duke of York, January 27, 1784
A printed version of the text can be found on page 75 of The Legitimist Kalendar for the Year of Our Lord 1895, edited by the Marquid de Ruvigny and Raineval (London: Henry & Co., 1895).
We, Henry Mary Benedict Clement, Cardinal Duke of York, younger son of James III, King of England, France, Scotland, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith:
Whereas by advice received from Florence, of date the 23rd January current, we are on the point of losing the most serene Charles Edward, our very dear brother-german, lawful successor of James III to the kingdoms of England, France, Scotland, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith: we declare and protest, in the most legal form, with all the solemnities possible, and in every other way that may be of utility and advantage as in duty bound to our Royal person and to our country, to reclaim to ourselves the right of succession belonging to us to the kingdoms of England, France, Scotland, and Ireland, in case our most serene Brother (which God forbid) should be no more; against which cannot be opposed, either before God or before men, the sacred episcopal character with which we are clothed.
And whereas, in consideration of the critical circumstances of our Royal Family, we wish to obviate every difficulty that might give us trouble, we mean still to retain the title (which in that event no longer belongs to us) of Duke of York, with all the rights thereto annexed, as we have hitherto been in use to do, and that as a title of incognito. For this purpose we renew every necessary protestation and declaration, in the manner aforesaid, and with all possible solemnities. That in retaining (as we do of our own will, and by way of incognito), the title of Cardinal Duke of York, in similar deeds, either public or private, which we have passed or shall pass, after having obtained the aforesaid right of succession; we do not prejudice, much less ever renounce our right, and that which we have, and mean to have and to retain always, to the aforesaid kingdoms; more especially which belong to us as the true, last, and lawful heir of our Royal Family, notwithstanding the aforesaid title, which we are pleased to retain as a simple incognito.
Lastly, we expressly declare by the present protest, our will is, that as soon as Providence shall have disposed of our person, the rights of succession to the crown of England, France, Scotland, and Ireland, should remain in their full force and strength, with the Prince to whom the right shall belong by proximity of blood.
Such being our will and pleasure.
From the palace of our residence the 27th day of January, 1784,
Henry, Cardinal Duke of York
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