(Irish) Act of Recognition, 1689

The following act was passed by the Irish Parliament of King James II.

A printed version of the text can be found on pages 747 through 749 of English Historical Documents, 1660-1714, edited by Andrew Browning (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1953).

Most gracious sovereign, we Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, most joyfully acknowledging the transcendent mercy of Almighty God in giving your sacred Majesty a safe and happy arrival to this your kingdom of Ireland, in a glorious and peaceable manner in despite of the conspiracies and machinations of execrable traitors and power of foreign enemies, cannot without horror consider the detestable defections and treasons of many of our fellow subjects, as well in this realm as in Your Majesty's other kingdoms, who, being desperately wicked and hardened in impiety, by unspeakable treachery lately assisted the Prince of Orange, against the laws of God and man, unnaturally to invade your Kingdom of England, and there, by odious acts and devices strengthening themselves in power and faction, by seducing from their allegiance great numbers of Your Majesty's subjects of that kingdom, first forced Your Majesty to withdraw your sacred person from your palace of Whitehall, and soon after your return, to the great joy of many thousands of your loyal subjects in those parts of england, put Your Majesty under a guard of foreigners, compelling you to go to Rochester, where you remained in restraint until it pleased God, of His infinite mercy to Your Majesty and these kingdoms, to give you a happy deliverance out of the hands of your enemies by escaping into France, from whence Your Majesty, to the inexpressible joy of all your loyal subjects, happily came into this kingdom; and the said Prince of Orange having, by the detestable assistance of such traitors and enemies, first plotted and contrived the ruin and destruction of this excellent monarchy and of all the rights and liberties of your subjects, found it necessary, in order to the carrying on of his pernicious designs by aid of the said traitors and foreign enemies, to throw down all the bulwarks and fences of law, and to subvert the very being and constitutions of Parliaments, that so at last he and they might make their way open to the unnatural and perfidious usurpation afterward by him and them accomplished; who first professing, by several deceitful declarations, that his intent was not to deprive Your Majesty of your Imperial Crown, but to preserve the Protestant religion and rights of your subjects, by him speciously but most falsely pretended to be subverted, under the abusive and unknown name and authority of a Convention of Lords and Commons meeting at Westminster, against the laws of Your Majesty's kingdoms, by force and fraud and un unparalleled example of impudence and injustice, they took upon them to declare your royal throne vacant, and (as if it were their right to dispose of the same) offered your Imperial Crown to the said Prince of Orange, in such horrid manner and odious circumstances as is but too well known to the world, which execrable fact nothing can equal but the barbarous murder of your royal father of ever blessed and glorious memory, by a party of wretched men from whom these late traitors have borrowed and revived their desperate antimonarchic principles; and because by this abominable action a most insupportable shame and infamy may be imputed to millions of Your Majesty's subjects no wise guilty of this treason, we, therefore, Your Majesty's said dutiful and loyal subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons in Parliament assembled, being touched with a true sense of our duty, do hereby renounce, abominate and protest against that impious fact, the late usurpation of the said Prince of Orange and the most unparalleled treason and perfidiousness of such of Your majesty's subjects as have by their defections in any sort promoted the same, and all proceedings tending thereunto, and do beseech Your Majesty that it may be declared that the said horrid usurpation and all acts tending to and promoting of the same are against the law of God, nature and nations, and have fixed an indelible infamy on the perjured heads of such as have been guilty thereof, all or most of these offenders having sworn that it was not lawful to take up arms against Your Majesty on any pretence whatsoever.

And the said perfidious criminals being conscious of their guilt and breach of faith to God and their natural sovereign, after they had manifestly violated the before-recited oath, and also broke the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, have by their own usurped authority taken upon them to abrogate the said oaths, and invented new and impious assurances of fidelity to the usurper. We, therefore, Your Majesty's most loyal and most dutiful subjects aforesaid, out of our bounden duty to God and Your Majesty, and for the vindication of ourselves from any crime that may be imputed to us by reason of the said treasonable transactions, ... do hereby acknowledge, with one full voice of tongue and heart, that Your Majesty is our lawful and undoubted liege, sovereign lord and king. ... And we do hereby further declare that Your Majesty's right to your said Imperial Crown is originally, by nature and descent of blood, from God alone, by whom kings reign, and not from your people, nor by virtue or pretext of any contract made with them, or any act of your estates on that behalf, an assertion which we abominate, detest and condemn as false and traitorous, taken up formerly and since revived by the most odious parricides that ever lived; and do hereby further publish and declare that by the undoubted fundamental laws of this kingdom and of England neither the peers of this realm, nor the Commons, nor both together, in Parliament nor out of Parliament, nor the people collectively or representatively, nor any other persons whatsoever, ever had, have or ought to have any coercive power over the persons of the kings of this realm; and that our allegiance to Your Majesty, our natural liege lord and sovereign, is indissoluble, and cannot be renounced by us or our posterities, which allegiance of us your subjects is due to Your Majesty in your natural person, from which the royal power cannot be separated.

And we do further recognise and declare that within all Your Majesty's realms and dominions the sole and supreme power, government, command and disposition of the militia, and of all forces by sea and land, and of all forts and places of strength, is, and by the laws of this realm and of England ever was, the undoubted right of Your Majesty and your royal predecessors, kings and queens of these realms; and that both or either of the Houses of Parliament, or the people collectively or representatively, or a convention or assembly of Lords Spiritual, Temporal, and Commons, or any of them, on any account whatsoever, cannot nor ought to pretend to the same, nor can or lawfully may raise or levy any war, offensive or defensive, against Your Majesty, your heirs and lawful successors.

And . . . we do hereby further recognise, publish and declare that, as it is against the law of nature to hinder or deprive Your Majesty's subjects of your royal protection, so it is directly against the same law, and the laws and statutes of this realm thereon grounded, to hinder or deprive Your Majesty from the service of your subjects in peace or war (being inseparably annexed to and inherent in your royal person), of what persuasion in religion soever they be, when Your Majesty shall have occasion to use the same, whereof Your Majesty is the only judge; and that it is utterly unlawful for Your Majesty's subjects of this or any of your kingdoms, on any pretence whatsoever, actually to resist Your Majesty, or our lawful hereditary king for the time being, by violence or force of arms, or to withdraw their allegiance from Your Majesty, your heirs and lawful successors, but that the decision in all cases of a misused authority by our lawful hereditary king (if any such should happen) must be left to the sole judgment of God, the King of Kings and only ruler or princes. . . .

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