[DEFOE Daniel (1660-1731, sometimes attributed to)]. A Letter to a New Member of the Ensuing Parliament. 1702

$ 100.00

Small 4to., (7 7/8 x 5 6/8 inches). 8-pages (disbound, last leaf a bit marked). 

Sometimes attributed to Daniel Defoe, the author of this pamphlet voices strong opinions on the hottest of topics of the day: a possible war with France and the Act of Settlement: "So that if you would make any thing of that late Act of Settlement of the Crown, besides waste paper,..."

During the "spring and summer of 1701 public opinion crystallized in favour of war against France. The French King’s provocations made clear his expansionist aims in Europe and their threat to English interests. The 1701-2 Parliament – which like its predecessor lasted for only a single session – was largely concerned with the preparations for war, and made rapid progress with necessary measures. But the death of William III on 8 Mar. 1702 halted expectations of a return of the Junto lords to power to manage war as they had done in the 1690s. The accession of his sister-in-law Princess Anne initiated instead a revival of Tory prospects.

"At the general election in November and December 1701 contests took place in 91 (34 per cent) of the 269 English and Welsh constituencies. Prolonged attack on the Tories had filled the press for months beforehand, much of it centring on a published ‘black list’ of MPs who had lately opposed the preparations for war. The widely publicized discovery, too, of three Tory MPs ensconced in a Westminster tavern with the French charge d’affairs Poussin gave Whig propagandists a field day in denouncing as ‘Poussineers’ those Tories suspected of Jacobite sympathies. But though the Whigs inflicted heavy blows in some constituencies, they did not achieve the overwhelming majority expected. The new House consisted of 248 Whigs and 240 Tories, with a further 24 MPs unclassified. Out of the 515 MPs who sat during this Parliament, 82 (16 per cent) had no previous parliamentary experience, while 91 more had sat in one earlier Parliament. Among the latter were Sir Christopher Wren and Isaac Newton" (The History of Parliament Trust online).  ESTC T63001. Catalogued by Kate Hunter