His father declined the throne on the abdication of Isaac, who was accordingly succeeded by four emperors of other families between that date and 1081.
In 1778 he was chosen a delegate to Congress, but declined to serve.
He declined to intervene in the affairs of Italy by confining the great liberator to Sicily; he protested against the presence of the French fleet at Gaeta; and when other foreign nations denounced the conduct of Piedmont, he defended it by quoting Vattel and citing the example of William III.
The king, in a letter to Queen Victoria, declined for the time being to receive the Order of the Garter, which had just been offered him, and on the 6th of February the government addressed a circular letter to the powers, proposing to submit the issues in dispute to a European conference.
He courteously declined the offer of Perceval to resume political life under the auspices of the dominant Tory party, though tempting prospects of office in connexion with India were opened up. He entered parliament in the Whig interest as member for Nairn.
He declined offers which would have led him into the Anglican ministry or The Bar, and in 1719 entered the very liberal academy for dissenters at Kibworth in Leicestershire, taught at that time by the Rev. John Jennings, whom Doddridge succeeded in the ministry at that place in 1723, declining overtures from Coventry, Pershore and London (Haberdashers' Hall).
After Longhena's date church architecture in Venice declined upon the dubious taste of baroque; the facades of San Moise and of Santa Maria del Giglio are good specimens of this style.
But with characteristic disinterestedness and modesty he declined all such honours.
This, however, they declined to do, only assenting to a conversion.
From 1 794 until his death he declined in succession the following offices: United States senator (1794), secretary of state in Washington's cabinet (1795), chief justice of the United States Supreme Court (1795), governor of Virginia (1796), to which office he had been elected by the Assembly, and envoy to France (1799).