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Monday, April 24, 2017

The Rights of Englishmen Part 1: "Some Good Whig Principles"

Most of my readers, I think, are Traditional Catholics.  So the relevance of "The Rights of Englishmen" may be a dusty and unfamiliar old idea to them that they never bothered to learn in school.  However, if I have any Alt-Right readers, they might be familiar with recent citations of "Rights of Englishmen."

Within the Alt-Right, dissident factions are forming a sequel to the Know-Nothing Party of the mid-1800s.  This faction is comprised of white nationalists.  This group of people tends to think that the United States needs to remove most of the immigrants who have come to this country after The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.  And finally, if that objective is achieved, further removal of non-whites must take place in order to preserve the integrity of the United States.

One tool utilized to proclaim the notion of out-of-place non-whites is the idea of The Rights of Englishmen.  For example:
"No other people, from the very numerous Chinese to the very smallest American Indian tribe, have shown any interest in adopting and living according to the ideals of 18th century Englishmen, the Common Law, or the Rights of Englishmen, no matter how much they enjoy, appreciate, and attempt to appropriate the fruits of that culture.
"And it is the height of absurdity to believe that they will see fit to permit others to live according to them in any society that is even remotely democratic, as we have already seen from the previous waves of immigration."  
So what are The Rights of Englishmen?  I've been waiting for months for this particular faction of the Alt-Right to produce more than just a hyperlink about it.  But so far, no one has delivered a hard-hitting discussion about this idea.  So far, "The Rights of Englishmen" has been used as a sort of Excalibur or other mythical weapon to claim white primacy.

So, let's finally start talking about what this thing is.

The Rights of Englishmen Are...

Benjamin Franklin - "The Newton of Electricity"
After Benjamin Franklin died, there was found a particular piece of paper that discussed this topic.  Franklin endorsed the idea of The Rights of Englishmen.  On this piece of paper, he wrote the words: "Some Good Whig Principles."  And who were the Whigs, again?  They originally opposed absolute monarchy and supported constitutional monarchism.  But in colonial America, the Whigs were those who would eventually support revolution, while their enemies, the Tories, would be the loyalists.

The following handbill, Benjamin Franklin's scrap of paper, was published in the 1790s:
A Declaration of the Rights of Englishmen
Declaration of those Rights of the Commonality of Great Britain, without which they cannot be Free.  
It is declared,
First, That the government of this realm, and the making of laws for the same, ought to be lodged in the hands of King, Lords of Parliament, and Representatives of the whole body of the freemen of this realm.

Secondly, That every man of the commonalty (excepting infants, insane persons, and criminals) is, of common right, and by the laws of God, a freeman, and entitled to the free enjoyment of liberty.
Thirdly, that liberty, or freedom, consists in having an actual share in the appointment of those who frame the laws, and who are to be the guardians of every man's life, property, and peace; for the all of one man is as dear to him as the all of another; and the poor man has an equal right, but more need, to have representatives in the legislature than the rich one.
George III and William Pitt portrayed as
running over the Magna Carta
and the Constitution.
Fourthly, That they who have no voice nor vote in the electing of representatives, do not enjoy liberty; but are absolutely enslaved to those who have votes, and to their representative: for to be enslaved, is to have governors whom other men have set over us, and to be subject to laws made by the Representatives of others, without having had Representatives of our own to give consent in our behalf.
Fifthly, that a very great majority of the commonality of this realm are denied the privilege of voting for representatives in Parliament; and consequently, they are enslaved to a small number, who do now enjoy this privilege exclusively to themselves; but who, it may be presumed, are far from wishing to continue in the exclusive profession of a privilege, by which their fellow-subjects are deprived of common right, of justice, of liberty; and which, if not communicated to all, must speedily cause the certain overthrow of our happy constitution, and enslave us all. 
And, sixthly and lastly, we also say, and do assert, that it is the right of the commonality of this realm to elect a new House of Commons once in every year, according to ancient and sacred laws of the land: because, whenever a Parliament continues in being for a longer term, the very great numbers of the commonality, who have arrived at the years of manhood since the last election, and therefore have a right to be actually represented in the House of Commons, are then unjustly deprived of that right.
"John Bull" is the personification of England.
Sort of like Uncle Sam.  Here, John Bull
farts on the face of George III.
 Judge Blackstone, in the second chapter of the first book of his commentaries, speaking of Parliaments, says, "It is a matter most essential to the liberties of this kingdom, that such members be delegated to this important trust, as are most eminent for their brobity, their fortitude, and their knowledge; for it was a known apothegm of the great Lord Treasurer Burleigh, 'That England could never be ruined but by a Parliament; and as Sir Matthew Hale observes, this being the highest and greatest court, over which none other can have jurisdiction in the kingdom, if by any means a misgovernment should any way fall upon it, the subjects of this kingdom are left without all manner of remedy. To the same purpose the President Montesquieu presages, that as Rome, Sparta, and Carthage, have lost their liberty and perished, so the Constitution of England will in time lose its liberties, and perish; it will perish whenever the legislative power shall become more corrupt than the executive.
The above is recommended to the attention of the people of England, to admonish them to keep vigilant watch over the acts of their Representatives, and to mark their alarming consequences.
The great Locke says (as quoted by Blackstone), "There remains still inherent in the people, a supreme power to remove or alter the legislative, when they find the legislative act contrary to the truth reposed in them: for when such trust is abused, it is thereby forfeited, and devolved to those those who give it."
That, my friends, is an out-and-out plain and clear definition of the Rights of Englishmen.  While the declaration does not seem unreasonable to us modern Americans, at the time, it was actually a repudiation against the ancient monarchical tradition of England.  So, a brief recap:

-Lawmaking should belong to a king, Parliament, and representatives of freemen.  
-Free men should enjoy liberty
-Men should be represented in the legislature.
-Men ought to be able to vote for representatives in Parliament.
-A New House of Commons should be elected yearly.

Whig Paradise

In that day most agreed that a complete democracy would be disastrous.  Yet there was still a desire by a rising commercial class to subvert the traditional and ancient monarchy, dumbing it down into an oligarchical Whig paradise.  As The First American Civil War The American Revolution raged across the Atlantic, the Whig power grab would continue, and monarchy itself would eventually be attacked by Thomas Paine as "the Popery of government."

George III had intended to restore his country's constitution, but the American Revolution had given the Whigs power to return to cabinet, installing an oligarchy that has had power over Great Britain ever since.  It could be argued that things have not fared too well ever since.

A Whig-installed oligarchy leads to Londonistan in the long term.
A true British king with full power would have never allowed this.

When pictures look alive with movements free, When ships like fishes swim beneath the sea, When men outstripping birds shall span the sky, Then half the world deep drenched in blood shall lie!  
In Germany begins a dance, Which passeth through Italy, Spain and France, But England will pay the piper.  
-1580 prophecy of St. Francis of Paula

King George III: A Conservative

A clarion call among Whigs (and Freemasons) for The Rights of Englishmen would have faded into a footnote of history, had King George III managed to successfully reform the British constitution.  However he had an enormous problem, as the current structure of his monarchical government was choked up by Whigs who desired to unseat him and subdue the monarchy.  Charles Coulombe explains in Puritan's Empire:  
On paper, the King functioned much as the American President does.  He appointed the cabinet to carry out his programs; just as skill is required for the President to get his bills passed by Congress, so the King's ministers had to be skillful enough to guide legislation through Parliament.  In theory, Parliament acted as a check on the King's power, while the King himself provided unified leadership above party and faction.  Since Parliament consisted of both Lords and Commons (the latter elected by the well-to-do), both people and nobility were part of the government.  King, Lords, and Commons were to maintain a balance which would insure good government as much as anything human can.  
However, due to earlier wars and insurrections, as well as the fact that the English throne had been occupied by foreigners since 1714, much had changed.  Although the form remained the same, the substance was different.  The King continued to go through the motions of appointing the Prime Minister and Cabinet, but in reality the Cabinet was put in place by whichever Whig faction could control a majority in Parliament.  The modern equivalent would be the American Cabinet being appointed by the Party which holds the majority in Congress.  Obviously, if this were the case, the President would have no power over the Federal government at all.  Such was the case in Great Britain by 1760.

The Whigs who wanted King George III toothless had filled up the Cabinet, and so the king was powerless to function fully as king.  The concept of the Rights of Englishmen would bolster Whig support in the British government, helping to push Britain into complete Whig control.  The Whigs were wealthy oligarchs who--as we can see in the oligarchs of our own government today--desired more and more dominance:
Since the House of Commons members were for the most part in the hire of wealthy oligarchs, and since whichever faction among them was able to give out government positions to its supporters, the whole method of British government changed in reality, even while remaining the same on the surface.  Policies and appointments were dictated purely on the basis of keeping a majority in the Commons; corruption grew incredibly, and the national interest was forgotten by politicians intent on wealth and power.  
George III and William Pitt grind
"John Bull" into money.
King George III was not a horrible man, however.  He was a traditional sort of king who wanted to preserve the integrity of the throne as much as possible.  Though his forbears had neglected the throne and allowed it to fall into this sad state, King George III would prove to be the conservative, hoping to avoid the "modernization" of British politics.  For us modern Americans (ironically enough), the best way to understand this dilemma is to realize that King George III was a conservative fighting against the leftist liberals and neoconservatives of his time.
George I and George II, being Germans much more interested in their Electorate of Hanover than in Britain, were content to let things go on in this way.  But George III, who succeeded his grandfather George II in 1760, was different.  

Unlike the last two Kings, George III "gloried in the name of Briton."  Unlike them he was faithful to his wife, as pious as an Anglican can be, and more interested in Britain and its Empire than Hanover.  As a boy, his mother had often told him to "be a King."  For him, that meant restoring his country's original constitution--in a word, functioning as the President does, rather than as a figurehead.  That way, he could lift the government of Britain above petty factional greed and dispute; instead of self-interest, his realm would be governed for the benefit of his people and the glory of God (as far as he could see it).  But this project would require a great deal of skill if it were to succeed.  After all, arrayed against him were all the Whig factions who between them had complete control of Parliament, however much they might squabble and struggle among themselves when there was no effective King to fear; the owners of the Bank of England, whose control of the country's money supply (an essential part of governing) made them in effect more powerful than either King or Parliament; and those Freemasons and others who were disciples of the Enlightenment.  
The King was surrounded by enemies and subversives.  We on the Right understand this feeling very well.  The Left--which has, really, been continuously beating its war drums since the 1500s--has an all-powerful host of weapons and poisons to use against the Right.  We were lucky to get the wild-card, President Donald Trump, elected.  That particular project also "required a great deal of skill if it were to succeed."  And it did.  This time.  

Why was The Donald elected?  Because, in their hearts, the American people still carry with them a legend of Christendom.  They believe in the preservation of everything that Western Civilization has produced.  It could even be said that some smoldering embers of Christ--those burning remains of our civilization's philosophy--are still recognizable to us, and that the people of the United States were still able to recognize evil in The Left.

King George III was hoping that the burning embers of his ethos would help him to carry the day.  He had hoped he had a firm grasp of the Logos, that God would be on his side, and that the truth of his code would triumph:

Against these seemingly all-powerful foes, however, the King had many important advantages.  Above all, he was King.  In those days, the majority of his subjects had retained from Catholic days the traditional reverence due a King.  This was described a Century and a half later by John Healy, the Catholic Archbishop of Tuam, Ireland:
King George III
"The character of Kings is sacred; their persons are inviolable; they are the anointed of the Lord, if not with sacred oil, at least by virtue of their office. Their power is broad -- based upon the Will of God, and not on the shifting sands of the people's will... They will be spoken of with becoming reverence, instead of being in public estimation fitting butts for all foul tongues. It becomes a sacrilege to violate their persons, and every indignity offered to them in word or act, becomes an indignity offered to God Himself It is this view of Kingly rule that alone can keep alive in a scoffing and licentious age the spirit of ancient loyalty that spirit begotten of faith, combining in itself obedience, reverence, and love for the majesty of kings which was at once a bond of social union, an incentive to noble daring, and a salt to purify the heart from its grosser tendencies, preserving it from all that is mean, selfish and contemptible."
The King's coronation at the beginning of his reign, his headship of the Church of England (in Catholic countries the King is instead the defender of and most important layman in the Church), and his continued liturgical role continued to impress upon his people the sacred character of his office, and instill in them a personal loyalty to him very unlike what we Americans feel toward our President.  He was the father of his country, and most Britons, either in the Mother Country or in her colonies loved him in a real though distant way.  This was a great help in dealing with politicians who inspired in the people no loyalty, and whose only source of power was wealth and corruption.    

This was the King of England.  This was King George III.  He was a good king who sought to restore the glory of Britain.  He was undone, and to this day, Americans ridicule his office.  The throne was subverted by The Rights of Englishmen, as pushed by Whigs and other revolutionaries.  The Rights of Englishmen was not some sort of an ancient code.  They were a slogan, much like the slogans that Leftists and Neoconservatives use today to tear down the last vestiges of decent society.  The Rights of Englishman was utilized as a tool by money and power-hungry oligarchs and merchants, so that they could continue to hand out government positions to their favorite lobbyists.  

We on the Right ought to be quite empathetic to George III's situation.  It can certainly be said that the Left's main source of power is money and corruption. Many of us on the Right feel a "personal loyalty" to The Donald.  Many of us are happy with his presidency, and we look to him (as we did President Ronald Reagan) as "the father of his country."  It is without a doubt that on the Right, we love Trump "in a real though distant way."  After all, many Alt-Right circles call Trump the God-Emperor.  

So before we blindly run towards the Rights of Englishmen as a clarion call for our American ethos, perhaps we ought to take a little care and caution, look into the terminology a little more deeply, and recognize the term for what it was: the rallying cry of opportunists.


  1. King George III ultimate mistake was not returning the Throne to the One Holy Apostolic Catholic Church.
    Charles Coloumbe has taught me a great deal on these subjects also.
    New Orleans is destroying Confederate monuments because some Jewish funded blacks told them to do so.
    In a monarchy a king or queen would not allow history to be destroyed by the Jewish African left.

  2. Hello, Laramie. I wrote an article on "the rights of Englishmen" (not treating Franklin's interpretation specifically) on my own blog two years ago, well before "alt-right" became mainstream... but came to a rather different conclusion than you did. I generally support the idea of English liberty, but that one need not be Anglo-Saxon to live up to it. Here's the link: http://modernmedievalism.blogspot.com/2015/07/english-liberty-tradition-of-rebellion.html

    Ironically, despite being a proud descendant of 8 Revolutionary War veterans and being about as WASP'y as a Catholic can be, one of my readers took such great offense to this article over an off-hand remark that he posted a vitriolic screed against me, characterizing me as a Mongoloid anti-white hater. I guess the "one drop theory" is still alive and well in some quarters.