Philadelphia Council Proclaims Anne Queen of England

Dateline: 5 July 1702, Philadelphia. People in the New World thought it best to proclaim her queen in order to provide for their own defence and form a militia against invasion and for legal reasons. Both sides of the Atlantic were part of church history.

She was born 6 Feb 1665 at St. James’s Palace. Her father was Catholic James II and her mother Anne Hyde. So she was of the royal house of Stuart. Her uncle, Charles II, insisted she be raised Protestant (kings could micromanage things like that back then). She married Prince George of Denmark, a Protestant.

Parliament put her in the line of succession, if her predecessors William and Mary had no surviving children.

She succeeded them on 8 Mar 1702 and was crowned 23 Apr 1702.

Most of her seventeen pregnancies ended in miscarriage, and only William lived to be a mere eleven years old, dying in 1700.

She presided over the union between England and Scotland and so becoming Great Britain in 1707.

She died on 1 Aug 1714, at Kensington Palace and will be buried at Westminster. With her the Stuarts come to an end, and the Hanovers will take over.

But before then, the Philadelphia Council decides to proclaim her queen and decide to defend their city and province and form a militia to repel a possible invasion against France and Spain.

Andrew Hamilton, Esq. and Lieutenant Governor, in place of William Penn, presided over the meeting of the Provincial Council.

Councilors: Edward Shippen, John Guest, Samuel Carpenter, Samuel Finney, Thomas Story

Modernized transcription begins:

The Governor informed the board that certain of the king’s death, with orders thereupon to proclaim Princess Ann of Denmark, Queen of England, etc. being arrived in all the neighboring governments;

Also a certain account of war being proclaimed in England against France and Spain;

And also orders arrived at Boston in New England to proclaim the war there, with the packets to the governor of New York to the same effect;

But that there being, by some miscarriage [failure to deliver], no orders yet arrived to proclaim the Queen here, many inconveniences are likely to ensue should the said proclamation be deferred and especially that the English dominions be now engaged in a war, the governor thinks himself obliged to invite such of the people as are inclined to it to enlist themselves and form a militia, that all pretences of want [lack] of defence may be removed, which cannot be done but in the Queen’s name;

And therefore it is necessary she should be first proclaimed.

Resolved, thereupon:

That Princess Ann of Denmark, be proclaimed Queen of England, etc. in this city of Philadelphia, the tenth instant [July 10] at the most public places, about eleven in the morning, after the same form and manner as has been performed in the neighboring colonies and answer all objections, if any should arise, concerning the continuance of commissions upon the demise of the King [William III], notwithstanding the King’s said demise be not judged to vacate commission under the royal charter to the Proprietary [of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania], as in governments more immediately under the crown;

Yet that the Queen’s proclamation for continuing all offices for 6 months after the King’s decease, be read after the Queen is proclaimed.

Transcription ends.

The colonies knew what their neighbors were up to.

For legal reasons, the Council decided to proclaim her queen, without getting word directly from Parliament, so they can continue the council’s government offices.

They also got word that England declared war on France and Spain, so the Council thought it best to prepare a defence.


The Quaker Council of Philadelphia Proclaims James King

Philadelphia Council Proclaims William and Mary King and Queen


Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania from the Organization to the Termination of the Proprietary Government, containing the Proceedings of Council from December 18 1700 to May 16 1717, vol. II, (Harrisburg Theophilus Fenn, 1838), p. 68.


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