Peitition of the City of London to the King, Against the Bill

Message from the King


[The Lord Mayor, Aldermen Crosby, Lewis, and Plomer, the Recorder, upwards of one hundred and fifty of the Common Council, and City Officers, went from Guildhall to St˙ James' s, (Alderman Sawbridge joined them in the way,) in order to present an Address and Petition to his Majesty, previous to his going to the House, relative to the Bill for the government of Quebec. They arrived at St˙ James' s a quarter before one. A little before two, the Lord Chamberlain waited on the Lord Mayor with a Message from the King, which he had committed to writing, to prevent any mistake; and he read the following paper:


"As your Petition relates to a Bill agreed on by the two Houses of Parliament, of which his Majesty cannot take public notice, until it is presented for his royal assent in Parliament, I am commanded by the King to inform you, that you are not to expect an answer."

The Lord Mayor immediately sent the Remembrancer, to present his duty to the King, and inform his Majesty, "That they waited to present their Address, agreeable to his Majesty' s order;" which was in a little time complied with; when no other answer was given.

Peitition of the City of London to the King, Against the Bill

The following is a copy of the City Address:

"To the King' s Most Excellent Majesty, the humble Address and Petition of the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Commons, of the City of LONDON, in Common Council assembled:

Most Gracious Sovereign,

"We, your Majesty' s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Commons, of the City of London, in Common Council assembled, are exceedingly alarmed that a Bill has passed your two Houses of Parliament, entitled "An Act for making more effectual provision for the government of the Province of Quebec, in North America" which we apprehend to be entirely subversive of the great fundamental principles of the Constitution of the British Monarchy, as well as of the authority of various solemn acts of the Legislature.

"We beg leave to observe, that the English law, and that wonderful effort of human wisdom, the trial by Jury, are not admitted by this Bill in any civil cases, and the French law of Canada is imposed on all the inhabitants of that extensive Province, by which both the persons and properties of very many of your Majesty' s subjects are rendered insecure and precarious.

"We humbly conceive, that this Bill, if passed into a law will be contrary, not only to the compact entered into with the numerous settlers of the reformed religion, who were invited into the said Province, under the sacred promise of enjoying the benefits of the laws of your realm of England, but likewise repugnant to your royal Proclamation of the 7th of October, 1763, for the speedy settling the said new Government.

"That consistent with the public faith, pledged by the said Proclamation, your Majesty cannot erect and constitute Courts of Judicature and Public Justice for the hearing and determining all cases, as well civil as criminal, within the said Province, but as near as may be agreeable to the laws of England; nor can any laws, statutes, or ordinances for the public peace, welfare, and good government of the said Province, be made, constituted, or ordained, but according to the laws of this Realm.

"That the Roman Catholic religion, which I known to be idolatrous and bloody, is established by this Bill, and no legal provision is made for the free exercise of our reformed faith, nor the security of our Protestant fellow subjects of the Church of England, in the true worship of Almighty God, according to their consciences.

"That your Majesty' s illustrious family was called to the throne of these Kingdoms, in consequence of the exclusion of the Roman Catholic ancient branch of the Stuart line, under the express stipulation that they should profess the Protestant religion; and according to the oath established by the sanction of Parliament, in the first year of the reign of our great deliverer, William the Third, your Majesty, at your coronation, solemnly swore that you would, to the utmost of your power, maintain the laws of God, the true profession of the gospel, and Protestant reformed religion, established by law.

"That although the term of imprisonment of subjects is limited to three months, the power of fining is left indefinite and unrestrained, by which the total ruin of the party may be effected by an enormous and excessive fine.

"That the whole Legislative power of the Province is vested in persons to be solely appointed by your Majesty, and removable at your pleasure, which we apprehend to be repugnant to the leading principles of this free Constitution, by which alone your Majesty now holds, or legally can hold, the imperial crown of these Realms.

"That the said Bill was brought into Parliament very late in the present session, and after the greater number of the members of the two Houses were retired into the country, so that it cannot fairly be said to be the sense of those parts of the Legislature.


"Your Petitioners, therefore, most humbly supplicate your Majesty, as the guardian of the laws, liberties, and religion of your People, and the great bulwark of the Protestant faith, that you will not give your royal assent to the said Bill.

"And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray."]