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férence of succession, according to the express CHAP. dispositions of the will; especially as it is a truth I. agreed by the civilians, that when a succession is m in dispute, which does not exclude the females, 1740. they ought to be included under the denomination of lawful descendants; and that consequently the electoral house of Bavaria had not the shadow of a' pretension to dispute a succession with her majesty, which God, nature, and allo laws, and particularly the usage of her archiducal family secured to her. . As the Elector of Bavaria always protested ac gainst the pragmatic fanction, the powers of Europe were no ways surprized at these declarations, nor from his own abilities were their consequences to be dreaded, as his whole annual revenue never exceeded one million sterling, and his forces were too feeble, without affistance, to assert his rights by the sword. But the court of Munich, since the treaty of Munster in 1648, being wholly devoted to the interest of France; and it being conspicuous, the court of Versailles had long assisted the electoral house, as a falcon fed and cherished only to fly at the royal eagle of Austria on every opportunity ; it was therefore juftly to be suspected, France, notwithstanding her declaration to preserve the pragmatic sanction, would enterfere in favour of the elector, either in the succession, or in the election of an emperor ; which the Elector of Mentz, as arch-chancellor of the empire, had fixed for the 16th of Februáry. The elector, during this year, was incapable of any military operations to enforce his pretensions, and contented himself with the result of the cabinet. But the tranquility of her Hungafian majesty was disturbed by a sudden and violent ftorm from another quarter, from whence as it

was

Part was the least expected, it therefore occasioned a II. more general surprize.

Upon the death of the late emperor, no prince 1740. in Europe gave greater assurances of his resolution

to support the pragmatic sanction than the King of Prussia, and it was universally believed he would be one of the firmest friends of the house of Austria. This young monarch, on the death of the emperor, recruited his regular troops, and collected an army of 100,000 men. At first this proceeding was disregarded, because all the princes in Germany were recruiting their forces, to preserve the empire from any occasional dif. turbances; and it was more particularly imagin. ed, that his majesty was preparing to afsift the Queen of Hungary against any attack from Baa varia. Far otherwise tended the views of this enterprizing monarch; he found himself at the head of a potent nation, with a standing army of 80,000 complete soldiers, and an annual revenue of two millions sterling; and grew impatient to manifest his own capacity, and the power of his arms, to the rest of Europe. In this he was neither in want of powerful incentives, or plausible pretences. He insisted on an incontestable right, in the royal and electoral family of Brandenburgh, to the principalities and lord ships of Jagerndorff, Lignitz, Brieg, Wohlau, Beuten, Oderberg, and other territories in the duchy of Silesia ; partly founded upon antient pacts of succession and cofraternity, between his predecessors in the electosal dignity, and the dukes of Silesia, Lignitz, Brieg, and Wohlau ; as well as upon other controvertible titles. For George Frederick, Duke of Jagerndorfi, having no children, by his last will, bequeathed that duchy, which he had a right to dispose of under che permission granted

by

by Lewis King of Bohemia, to the Margrave CHAP, George, who had purchased the duchy from the 1. Lords of Schellenberg in 1524; and also the hem reditary lordships of Lubschutz, Oderberg, Beu- 1740, ten, Tarnowitz, and other dependencies, to the electoral house of Brandenburg: which on his death descended to Joachim-Frederic, then Elector of Brandenburg, who took poffeffion of the duchy of Jagurndorf and of all its depen, dencies; and in 1607 granted it to his youngest fon, the Margrave John-George ; who, during the troubles of Bohemia, allying himself with Frederic V. Elector Palatine, engaged in a bloody war with the Emperor Ferdinand II. the emperor afterwards dispoffefsed the margrave of his duchy of Jagurndorf, and put him to the ban of the empire in the year 1623 ; under which he died the year following; and his son, being thus, deprived of his patrimony, dying in 1642, with him was extinct the appanaged branch' of Brandenburg to which Jagurndorf belonged. The duchy then fell, with all its de- ' pendencies, to the electoral line, as an inheritance which by' right belonged to the males of the family': and as his Pruffian majefty insisted, that even the children of a vassal, convicted of felony, could not be deprived of the natural right they have to the fief of which the family has received the investiture, because they do not hold their right of succession of the last possessor, but of the will and disposition of the person from whom their fief originally descends; and that the last possessor of an hereditary fief, muft transmit it to his relations of the collateral line; therefore as the house of Austria had been in the possession and enjoyment of the duchy and revenues VOL. I.

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PART almost a hundred years, his Prussian majesty

II. thought fit to reclaim it. m . As to the duchies of Lignitz, Brieg, and Woh1740. lau, the antient Dukes of Lignitz, descended

from the Piafts, were sovereigns in their domi-
nions, and governed them as a country free and
hereditary in their family, without subjection to
the Kings of Poland or Bohemia, or even de-
pending on any one. But in the year 1329,
they offered in fief to John of Lutzenberg King
of Bohemia, as well their duchies and principali
ties, as their other estates; declaring, as appears
by the first letters of investiture, “ That the offer
" was voluntary ; that they possessed their terri-
" tories as personal and hereditary estates; and
65 intended to hold them also for the future as
s hereditary fiefs, preserving all their rights and
« privileges." · And by other letters, granted
by King Uladislas in the year 1511, the fiefs
and states of Lignitz, are declared “ To be he-
« reditary and alienable ; fo that the Dukes of
« Lignitz should preserve their antient privileges
" to sell, mortgage, or alienate all their estates
" and poffeffions." Upon this Robert Frederic,
Duke of Lignitz, executed a treaty of Union and
hereditary cofraternity with Joachim the second,
Elector of Brandenburg, in the year 1537, sign-
ed and confirmed by oath, whereby the Duke
of Lignitz, by consent of the prelates, lords,
gentlemen, and other his subjects, agreed,
56 That in case he, or his male descendants, should
66 die without isiue male, that all his principa-
$c lities .and estates, and all that his descendants
$6 should leave behind them, should belong to
for the Elector Joachim and his heirs male, from
$ generation to generation for ever; and in fail-
ure thereof, to his brother Prince John, Mar-

Ćs grave of Brandenburg, in like manner; and in CHAP. " default of them, to luch of the Margraves of I. « Franconia who should sit on the electoral

throne: And that when such case should hap- 1740. " pen, it should be lawful for the Elector of “ Brandenburg to put himself actually in poffef

fion of the territories of Lignitz, Brieg, Woh" lau, and all their appertenances, his house " having already received the homage of them; 66 with a reservation, to render the services due to " the crown of Bohemia." But on the 18th of May 1546, Ferdinand I. King of Bohemia, published an edict, declaring " That the Duke 66 of Lignitz had not a right to make hereditary 66 treaties of cofraternity ;” and the king, as Lord Paramount of the fiefs of Silesia, annulled and abolished the same; obliging the Duke of Lignitz, and his two sons, to renounce the treaty with the house of Brandenburg, though they had confirmed it by a folemn oath, and even forced them to acknowledge, that after the death of the last male of their family, the duchies and principalities of Lignitz, Brieg, and Wohlau, ought by right immediately to revert to the King of Bohemia.

This was looked upon both by the Duke of Lignitz and Elector of Brandenburg as unjust; for that the treaty was neither prejudicial to the crown of Bohemia, nor derogatory from the infeoffment of the country of Lignitz, and its apo purtenances. The elector maintained the validity of the treaty, and vindicated his right, acquired in so lawful a manner, with a resolution to preserve the same to his family ; and kept the original acts, as authentic proofs of his right. B b 2

THE

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