The Scottish Parliament in revolt 1703
Elections were held in Scotland during 1702, and the new Scottish Parliament assembled in Edinburgh on 6 May 1703 and quickly proved a fractious and unpredictable body.
The Duke of Queensberry, as Lord High Commissioner - the Queen's personal representative to the Parliament of Scotland - led the Court (government) party, a minority administration, which struggled to steer a course between the opposition parties, the Cavalier (Episcopalian) and Country parties.
Parliament fails to co-operate
Queensberry's priority was to get Scotland to help fund the war with France. But the Scots were angry about English arrogance and obstruction during the recent union negotiations, especially over the vital issues of trade and the ill-fated Darien enterprise, and these increasingly stormy arguments dominated the proceedings.
There were repeated digressions from the all-important measures that were necessary to provide funds to fight France.
Queensberry loses control
Leading members of the opposition put forward legislation – an Act of Security – to preserve the Kirk, trade and the gains of the 1688 Revolution in Scotland.
On 16 July the Earl of Roxburghe caused uproar when he proposed adding a distinctly anti-English clause to the Act of Security.
It specified that the Queen's successor in Scotland would not be the same person as that in England, unless Scotland was guaranteed the independence of its Crown, the freedom and power of its Parliament, and the liberty of its religion and trade from outside intrusion.
Scotland was expressing its deepest anger about its negligent treatment in the 1690s by King William, and by the high-handed action of the English parliament in determining the succession in 1701 in the Act of Settlement without consulting the Scots.
Queensberry had now completely lost control of the Parliament.
Another clause was later added to the Act of Security stating that there should be no joint monarch unless Scotland was granted unrestricted access to English colonial trade. The Act was passed after 19 stormy sittings on 13 August by a majority of 59.