The House of Lords in the Reign of William III

The House of Lords in the Reign of William III

The House of Lords in the Reign of William III

The House of Lords in the Reign of William III

Excerpt

The following study deals with the House of Lords in one of the most interesting periods in its history. The reign of William III was ushered in by the movement which we term the English Revolution, and it marks the beginning of a new constitutional epoch. By such a crisis the House of Lords could not fail to be deeply affected, so that its story during the reign is well worth telling for its own sake. But while making the influence of the Revolution upon the Second Chamber the main pivot of the narrative, I have sought to treat the subject in its broader aspects and to present a picture of general aristocratic influence, whose interest belongs to the province of social as well as that of constitutional history. The House of Lords stood as the embodiment of a tradition of government which entrenched upon numerous spheres. Many of the incidents dealt with in this book are well known to all students of the reign of William III; I can only hope that there may be some to whom it will be useful to have the familiar facts treated from a new point of view.

The most obvious authorities for the subject are the Journals of the House and the Parliamentary Histories. The information to be gleaned from these sources is, however, very fragmentary, and it is fortunate that it can be largely supplemented by details drawn from the prolific memoirs and correspondence of the time, and by the dispatches of foreign residents in England interested in parliamentary affairs. But much more important than any of these are the Manuscripts of the House of Lords, which have been recently printed for the . . .

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