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Head of those, who with him will concur in opposing a Measure so unjust and destructive to the Body of the Scots Peerage, and in all Probability attended with Consequences, pernicious and fatal to the Liberties of others.
For this Matter does not singly affect the Peerage, as it seems to interfere with the general Interest of all Scotsmen. First, As the laying aside the Representation of the Peerage, and in its Room setting up a certain Number of hereditary Peers, is a manifest Injustice to such of their Fellow-Subjects, as are thereby without any Crime forfeited of their just Rights and Privileges, and a bare-faced Infringement and Violation of a fundamental Article of the Union, by which that Representation is ftipulated perpetually to remain. And consequently, in the second Place, a Precedent is laid down for subverting all the other Articles in Favour of Scotland and Scotsmen: For if this fundamencal Article can be abrogated, we have no Security for our Church Government, our Civil Rights, our Judicatories, the Privileges and Communication of Trade, the Regulation of the Land-Tax, the Exemption from some certain Duties and Imposts, and the like, that does not rest upon the same precarious Footing, and is not exposed to the like Subversion, if so be, it shall be judged proper for the Utility of Great Britain, an Handle fitted for all Blades, and a Pretence to introduce the groffest Absurdities, and greatest Abuses, when cherished and supported by an evil Administration.
Nay, who can tell, but after the Demolishing the Representation of the Peers, it may enter into some Politicians Heads to change likewise the Constitution of the Scots Commoners, by lessening their Number in the House of Commons; we know how much some affect to have the Union rendered more and more complete, as they term it, by lessening the Power and Credit of our Judicatories, and abolishing every Thing that derives its Origin from the Scottish Constitution, and it is not a far fetched Thought to dread, that such may incline to open a Door, and introduce the Scum of the People into the Privilege of choosing the Representatives of Shires, as is practised in England. And what a Stroke this would be to that great Bulwark of our Liberties, the resolute unbiaffed Scottish Barons, is too obvious to need any Proof; and yet, if such an Attempt should be made, the Stipulations of the Union, 'reserving to the Barons their ancient Rights and Privileges, will be of no Significancy, when this Precedent of the Peers is thrown in their Teeth.
In the next Place, as the Trouble and Expence the Crown is said to be at in procuring and managing a Majority of the Scots Peers at the Election of the sixteen (which if true, ought, and may be prevented by severe Laws made for that Effect, without so manifest a Subversion of the Constitution) is one of the chief Reasons for pushing this Measure. May not the same Motives be thought sufficient to render a Reduction of the several Districts of • the Scots Boroughs necessary, and to pitch upon fifteen Boroughs, in which, for
the future, shall be lodged solely and perpetually, the Representation of that State in Parliament? Since thereby, the Trouble and Expence which the Crown may, nay is truly said to be at, in procuring an Interest in the
feveral several Boroughs of these several Districts, will be prevented. This Cafe is fo near a Kin to chat of the Peerage, that the same Motives affects both, and the fame Powers may overturn both; so that the Fate of the one, is the Passing-Bell of the other.
I know there are some of our Country-men, who are very indifferent about the Prosperity of the Peerage ; because indeed that State hath lost much of its pristine Honour and Respect, by such Shoals being introduced during this and the last Century, many of whom had no just Pretensions thereto, either from their Birth or personal Merit, and because the Peers in general have, under all Administracions, contributed too much to their Country's Felicity. But ler such consider, that it is hard the Just Mould suffer with the Unjust, and that there are still some unblemished Peers, the Representatives of ancient Families and glorious Progenitors, and that the Punishment of a few guilty and obnoxious after such an unprecedented Manner, may pave the way to ruin many that are innocent, and introduce the Means of subverting all that is dear to a free People.
I might likewise here take notice, that it is very amazing, that the Peers of England, so jealous of their Liberties, should seem so fond of this Alteration of the Scots Peerage, seeing an Encroachment upon any Branch of the Conftitution, is a Precedent to a total Subversion of the Whole. And as the Scots Peers have, under the present Coníticution, as unquestionable a Right to elect their own Representatives, and by them to be represented in the Houfe of Lords, as have the English Peers to sit personally in that House, the fame Power, and the same Utility of Great-Britain, which can deprive the Scots Peers of their Right to elect and be represented, may likewise deprive fome, or all the English Peers (as happened in old Noll's Days) of their particular Privileges : As both their Rights are equally founded and secured, both of chem are equally subjected to the same Powers, and the fame political Max: ims and Measures; and if the Scots Peers shall be handled after so barbarous a Manner, old as I am, I may live to see the State-Coblers of this Generation reduce the English Peers to the same deplorable Condition; for what has . been may be again, especially when supported by so signal. and fresh a Precedent.
I should now, my Lord, make a great many. Apologies, for presuming to enlarge so much on a Subject, in which your Knowledge very far surpasses any Thing I can pretend to; but as it proceeded from Love and Zeal to my own Country, and that this perhaps may serve as an Index to point out some. Heads for your Lordship to enlarge upon and improve, I expect your Pardon, and that you will do me the Justice to believe. I am, with the mosta profound Respect,
men are equally lubi their Rights are in old Noll's Days wife deprive Commons
A List of the Nobility and Gentry, now fitting in the
Scots Parliament, who were for and against the
Buchan. Glencarin, 1 Marquis of Montrose, P. S. C. Wigtoun. Strathmore. Duke of Argyle.
Selkrig. Kincardin. Marquis of Tweedale. .
Of the. Barons. Approvers 37:
Sir Robert Dickson, of Inveralk. Leven.
Northesque. William Nisbet, of Dirletoun. Bellcarras. Forfar.
Jo. Cockburn, Jun. of Ormistoun. Kilmarnock. Kintore.
Sir John Swintoun, of that Ilk.
Sir William Kerr, of Greenhead.
Archib. Douglass, of Cavers.
William Bennet, of Grubbet. Hoptoun. Delarain. Ina. Mr. John Murray, of Bowhill. Viscounts.
Mr. John Pringle, of Haining,
Will. Morieson, of Prestoungrange.
George Baiilie, of Jerviswood.
William Douglass, of Dornock.
Mr. Will. Steuart, of Castle-fteuart. Elibank. Duffus.
Mr. John Steuart, of Sorbie. Rollo.
Lord Register. Mr. Fran. Montgomery, of Giffan. ' Lord Justice Clerk.
Mr. Will. Dalrymple, of Glenmuir. Of the Nobility. No's 21... Mr. Rob. Steuart, of. Tillicultry. Duke of Hamilton.
Sir Robert Pollock, of that lik. Duke of Athol.
Mr. Joh. Montgomery, of Wrac, Marquis of Annandale.
John Halden, of Glenagies.
James Abercromell, of of Hemprison
Wu Peter Hamolletoichael.
Mungo Grahame, of Gorthie. Sir Henry Innes, Jun, of that Ilk, Sir Tho. Burnet, of Leyes.
Alex. Douglass, of Eagleshaw.
Sir Patrick Johnstoun,
Mr. John Clerk.
Mr. Patrick Ogilvie.
Mr. George Dalrymple.
Of the Boroughs. No's 29.
Alexander Alexander Duff.
George Brodie. Francis Molison.
George Spence. Walter Scot.
Sir David Cunninghame. George Smith.
Mr. William Johnstoun. Robert Scot.
Mr. John Caruthers. Robert Kellie.
George Home. John Hutcheson.
Mr. James Bethun. Mr. William Sutherland.
John Bayne. Archibald Sheils.
Robert Frazer. Mr. John Lyon.
Approvers 115. No's 83. Mr. Dougal Steuart.
A List of those worthy Patriots, who, to prevent the
Church of England from being undermined by the Occafonal Conformists, did, like truly noble Englishmen, vote, that the Bill to prevent Occafonal Cons formity might be tack'd to the Land-Tax Bill, to secure its pafing in the House of Lords ; so that this their Zeal does appear, to all wise Men, as conspicuous for the Interest, as their Lives are Ornaments to that Church of which they are Members. 1705.
Bilson, Efq; Petersfield,