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King James II of England

King James II of England

James II & VII (14 October 1633 – 16 September 1701) was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Roman Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.


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Brian Smith

Brian Smith

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James garnered Irish forces (which were supported by French troops provided by Louis XIV), but was defeated by William's forces. James lived the remainder of his life in France.

James' attempts to force Catholicism on England and regain prerogative doomed his reign. Parliament emerged supreme: royal lineage was still a major consideration, but Protestantism became the main factor in choosing a monarch - a decision now left to Parliament.

Article: James II (1685-88 AD)
Source: Britannia

William landed in England with a Dutch army on November 5, 1688. Defections in James II's army followed before battle was joined, and William allowed James to flee to France. Parliament took the flight of James II as abdication and the co-reign of William III and Mary II officially replaced him on February 13, 1689.

Article: The Glorious Revolution o...
Source: Economic History Associat...

On 10th June 1688, James II's second wife, Mary of Modena, gave birth to a son. The boy would be brought up as a Catholic, like his parents, and would become heir to the throne, over his half-sisters. An unending Roman Catholic dynasty was envisaged. A number of Whigs and Tories entered into an alliance and a letter, signed by seven of them, was carried to Holland by an admiral disguised as a common sailor. This letter invited William and Mary to bring an army to England to drive out James II.

Article: The "Glorious Revolution"...
Source: The Open Door Team

In general substance the 1687 and 1688 declarations were alike... Where the second differed from the first was that in order to give the declaration wider publicity than could be afforded by The Gazette, James added an order-in-council on May 4, publicly commanding the bishops to distribute the declaration and have it publicly read by their clergy.

...Seeking a way out of their dilemma, seven bishops, headed by William Sancroft, the Archbishop of Canterbury, petitioned the king to withdraw, not the declaration, but the order to read it. The king, treating the petition as a "standard of rebellion" and those who presented it as "trumpeters of sedition," ordered them to fulfill their obligation. When their petition was found circulating in print he had them arrested and put on trial for seditious libel.

Article:   English Declarations of I…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

On February 12, 1687, he sent a proclamation of indulgence to Scotland. It promised that the king had an absolute power vested in him, so that all his subjects were bound to obey him without reserve; by virtue of this power the king repealed all the severe laws that were vested in his grandfather's name during his infancy. He took off all disabilities on his Roman Catholic subjects and made them capable of all employments and benefices. He also slackened the laws against moderate Presbyterians and Quakers...

Article:   English Declarations of I…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

In 1686, James embarked on a programme to persuade Anglican clergy and Tory politicians to join with him in an attempt to persuade Parliament to repeal the Test Act and the Penal Laws. At the same time he used his position to promote Catholics in the army, to high positions at Cambridge and Oxford Universities and within the Civil Service. In June 1686 the Court of King’ s Bench (which had been purged to remove any judge who may have objected) gave legal recognition to what James had been doing – putting his own men in positions of power. In July 1686, James created the Commission for Ecclesiastical Causes – its purpose was to tame the Anglican Church even though Parliament had banned prerogative courts in 1641.

Article: James II

Later that year James faced rebellion, led by Charles II's illegitimate son the Duke of Monmouth. The rebellion was easily crushed after the battle of Sedgemoor in 1685, and savage punishments were imposed by the infamous lord chief justice, Judge Jeffreys, at the 'Bloody Assizes'. Monmouth himself was messily beheaded.

This, together with James's attempts to give civic equality to Roman Catholic and Protestant dissenters, led to conflict with parliament. In 1685, James prorogued it and ruled alone.

Article: James II (1633 - 1701)
Source: BBC

James II’s authority appeared to be secure when he succeeded to the throne in February 1685.

The king’s initial promises to defend the existing government in church and state reassured many of those worried by his personal faith...

Initial support for the king ebbed away as it became clear that he wished to secure not only freedom of worship for Catholics, but also the removal of the Test and Corporation Acts so that they could occupy public office.

Article: The Glorious Revolution
Source: BBC

He distinguished himself a soldier, returning to England at the Restoration of his brother, Charles II, in 1660. He commanded the Royal Navy from1660 to1673. In 1660, James married Anne Hyde, daughter of Charles II's chief minister and they had two surviving children, Mary and Anne. In 1669, James converted to Catholicism and took a stand against a number of anti-Catholic moves, including the Test Act of 1673.

Article: James II (1633 - 1701)
Source: BBC

James lived in Oxford from 1642 until 1646, when the city surrendered. Parliament then confined him to St James's Palace.

In April 1648, James escaped to the Netherlands.

In 1649, he met up with his mother in France and then joined...the French April 1652. He fought along with loyal Frenchmen under their famous general, the Vicomte de Turenne.

Article: James II 1633-1701
Source: Emerson Kent: World Histo...

James Stuart was born October 14, 1633, at St. James's Palace in London. He was the third son of King Charles I and of his wife, Princess Henrietta Maria of France. From his birth James bore the title of "Prince of England, Scotland, France and Ireland". At the same time he was designated "Duke of York".

Article: James II and VII
Source: The Jacobite Heritage