James ll

 

Figure 1 ‘Séamus an Chaca’ By Studio of Godfrey Kneller – from en wiki, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4511772

Contents

Early Life

In the Civil War

Exile

Military Service

In France

In Spain

The Restoration

Marriage and Children

To Anne Hyde

Children of James and Anne

To Mary of Modena

Illegitimate children

Lord High Admiral

Fire of London

Anglo-Dutch Wars

Colonial activity

Africa

America

Conversion to Catholicism

Development of the Succession Question

The Test Act, 1673

Marriage to Mary of Modena

James and Politics

The Popish Plot, 1678

Exile 1679-82

The Exclusion Crisis (1678–1683)

The Rye House Plot, 1683

Accession Feb. 1685

Honeymoon

Post Honeymoon

Rebellions

Monmouth

Scotland

The Bloody Assize

Huguenot Immigration

Unpopular Policies

Bloody Assize

Toleration of Catholics

Ireland

Conflict with Parliament

Standing Army

Prorogation November 1685

Suspending and dispensing 1686

Halley’s Weather Map

1687

Court of High Commission 1686

Magdalen College Oxford

Parliament and Court purged July 1687

The Queen Pregnant November 1687

The Seven Bishops April 1688

The ‘Warming Pan Baby’

Appeal to William of Orange

Newton’s Principia Mathematica 1688

Invasion of William of Orange

The Glorious Revolution

William and Mary

The Convention Parliament

Additional Legislation

Bill of Rights

Toleration Act

Exile

Ireland

Battle of the Boyne

Scotland

Later Life

Death

Jacobitism

Historiography

Whig Interpretation: the Catholic Tyrant

Revision

Incompetent

Advocate of Religious Toleration

Syntheses

Bibliographical notes

Bibliography

FRESCI

Foreign and Military

Religion and Ideas

Economics

Social/Cultural

Constitutional

Individual Random

 

Early Life

The future James II was born (4,6) at St. James Palace (9) on 14th October (4,6) O.S. (6) 1633 (3,4) the second (2,4) [OR] second surviving (5) [OR] third (9) son of (2,4) Charles I and his (4,5) French (4,15) wife, Henrietta Maria (4,5) at St. James Palace. (5,15) Later that same year, he was baptised by William Laud, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury. (18) He was named after his grandfather, James I and VI. (4) He was designated Duke of York from birth, (14,17) the traditional title of the monarch’s second son. (14) At the age of three he was appointed Lord (11,18) of1 [OR] High (18) Admiral. (11,18) This position was initially honorary, but would become a substantive office after the Restoration, when James was an adult. (18) He wasn’t raised to be king (13) [OR] he was privately educated with his brother (11,14) and the two sons of the Duke of Buckingham and Francis Villiers (11) by William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle and Brian Duppa, Bishop of Winchester and then later by John Earle, Bishop of Salisbury. (14)

In the Civil War

Battle of Edgehill

Figure 2 The Battle of Edgehill

The King’s disputes with the English Parliament grew into the English Civil War. (15,17) James was eight years old when war broke out in 1642. (15) He was invested with the Order of the Garter in 1642. (18) During the English Civil War he stayed in Oxford, (5,8) a (5,17) [OR] the (14) Royalist stronghold, (5,14) while his father fought against the forces of the Parliamentarians and the Puritans. (14) He was given a Master of Arts degree from Oxford University (11,19) on 1st November (19) 1642 (11,19) and invested with the Order of the Garter, (11,17) the most prestigious British order of chivalry. (11) In that year he accompanied his father to (11) the first pitched battle of the War, (H) the Battle of Edgehill, and witnessed it. (2xH) Dr Harvey, the famous discoverer of the circulation of the blood, baby-sat the eight-year-old James while it was taking place, (2xH) hiding him in a hedge, (H) where he was almost captured by the Parliamentary army. (11) Aubrey says:

During the fight, the Prince and Duke of York were committed to (Harvey’s) care. He told me that he withdrew with them under a hedge, and took out of his pocket a book and read; but he had not read very long before a bullet of a great gun grazed on the ground near him, which made him remove his station.” (20)

He served as a Colonel of the volunteer regiment of foot (11,19) and mastered the rudiments of soldiering and seamanship. (7) He was formally (12,14) created Duke of York (5,7) at birth (11) [OR] at the time of his baptism, (7) aged 10 (5,9) on January (9,12) 27th (9) 1644. (5,9) [OR] in 1643. (7) He was captured (4,5) when the Royalist fort in (13) Oxford surrendered (5,12) after a siege (18) in June (12) 1646, (5,12) [OR]19462 (11) to the anti-monarchy roundheads. (13) In July 1646 (15) he was confined in St James’s Palace (5,9) by parliament. (5,11)

Exile

After the defeat of the Royalists (8) [OR] in April (9,12) 1648, (5,9) [OR] After his father’s execution (7,8) by the rebels (18) on January 30th (14) 1649. (7,8) he escaped (4,8) aided by Joseph Bampfield. (18) Aubrey, however says that

in 1647 Sir John Denham conveyed, or stole away the two Dukes of York and Gloucester from Saint James’s (from the tuition of the Earl of Northumberland) and conveyed them into France to the Prince of Wales and Queen Mother.” (20)

He fled (4,8) [OR] was rescued (9) from St. James Palace (9,12) and was taken, (9) disguised (5,9) as a woman (11,13) with his mother and brother, (8) across the North Sea (11) to exile on the continent (4,8) at The Hague (8,9) on the western coast of (11) the Netherlands. (5,11) where his sister Mary, (14,15) Princess Royal and Princess of Orange (14) and her husband, William II of Orange, lived. (14) Charles I was (2,7) tried by Parliament (2) [OR] a Parliament-appointed court (15) [OR] the roundhead (13) rebels (13,18) and officially (132) executed after the English Civil Wars (2,7) ((1642–1648) (2) in 1649. (7,11) The Stuart monarchy was replaced by the Commonwealth government. (15) Charles and James both had to seek refuge, (11,13) early in 1649, (12) at the French court, (15) in their mother’s home country of (13) France. (11,13) His mother and sister Henriette were already living there in exile, and his young first cousin King Louis XIV sat upon the throne. (14) Charles, James, and their family were now royal exiles. (13,14) His continental sojourn—and his father’s fate—would have a lasting influence on his temperament and outlook, rendering him much more inflexible than his older brother Charles, more authoritarian in outlook, and less patient with the complexities of English politics. (15) Loyalist (11) monarchists (17,18) declared James’ elder brother, Charles II as King. (11,13) He was proclaimed King of England in Jersey (18) [OR] Scotland and Ireland. (13) Charles II was recognized by the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of Ireland, and was crowned King of Scots at Scone, in Scotland, in 1651. (17) Charles failed to secure the throne of England (11,13) for obvious reasons, (13) [OR] because Oliver Cromwell’s army defeated his army at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. (15) He consequently fled to France and exile. (18)

Military Service

Meanwhile, James spent much of his youth (2) in exile in France (2,8) and Spain. (2,8) Exile wasn’t just about sitting back and cowering. (13) He entered foreign military service (4,7) during the Commonwealth period (1649-1660). (7)

In France

Joining the French army (8,9) in April (12) 1652, (12,15) James became an officer in the same year. (9) He saw active service (9,11) in it (8,9) in four campaigns (12) against the Fronde (18) in the French Civil Wars (11) under (9,11) the great French general (12) Henri de La Tour d’Auvergne, (14) the Vicomte de (9,12) Turenne. (9,11) He distinguished himself as a soldier (4,11) during his first true exposure to battle. (11,18) He was apparently known to charge valiantly head on towards his objective. (13) According to one observer, he ‘ventures himself and chargeth gallantly where anything is to be done’. (18) His military prowess was noted, (12,13) and Turenne commended his courage and ability. (12) In appreciation, he was given command of a captured Irish regiment in 1652 (11) and made Lieutenant General in 1654. (11,13)

In Spain

In the meantime, Charles was attempting to reclaim his throne, (18) but although the French sheltered the English royal family during their exile, (13,18) the French crown also officially sided with Oliver Cromwell and his government at the same time. (13) Charles had enough of this (13) and in 1656 (14,18) he aligned himself with France’s enemy Spain (11,12) to try and regain the throne of England. (11) Exiled and poor, there was little that either Charles or James could do about the wider political situation, and (18) he and his brother were exiled from France. (11,18) This unfortunately put a quick end to James’ French military career (13,14) when he was expelled from (13,18) [OR] left (15) his own adoptive army. (13,18) James did not take this well and he argued furiously with his brother over the executive decision, (13,18) but in 1656 (12) [OR] 1657 (15) he reluctantly (12,13) changed sides. (8,9) He travelled to Bruges and (along with his younger brother, Henry) (18) joined the Spanish army, serving in it (8,11) under Louis (11,14) de Bourbon, (14) Prince of Condé. (11,14) He proved himself to be a military leader. (11) He was given command of six regiments of British volunteers (11) that fought against his former French comrades (11,18) in the Battle of the Dunes (11,12) in June (12) 1658, (11,12) and he commanded the right wing of the Spanish army in that battle. (12) Between battles he emulated (7,12) his brother, (5,7) to the point of matching him in number of mistresses. (7) By 1659, (13) James had adapted well to their new military allies in Spain, (11,13) but in that year, the French and Spanish made peace. (18) James, doubtful of his brother’s chances of regaining the throne, considered taking a Spanish offer to be an admiral in their navy. (13,18) It’s a good thing (13) he didn’t take the offer, (13,18) because by the next year, Charles II was back on top in England and officially king again. (2,4)

The Restoration

After the death of Oliver Cromwell, (8,17) and Richard Cromwell’s resignation as Lord Protector in 1659 and the subsequent collapse of the Commonwealth in 1660, (18) James’s (2,4) older (9) brother Charles was restored to the English throne and crowned as (8,17) Charles II, in 1660, (2,4) Despite his Catholicism3, (9) James returned to England (2,4) from exile with his brother. (9) He was once again Duke of York (13,18) and on 31st December 1660 (18) he was created Duke of Albany (11,12) in Scotland. (11) He was also created ‘Duke of Normandy’ by King Louis XIV of France, December 31, 1660. (17) This was a few months after the restoration of his brother Charles II to the English and Irish thrones (Charles II had been crowned King of Scotland in 1651), and probably was done as a political gesture of support for James – since his brother also would have claimed the title ‘Duke of Normandy. (17) However, whereas Charles gained a reputation as a man whole could hold his own in politics when required to do so, James was seen as being dull, slow and incapable of grasping the politics of the day. (10) To Parliament, Charles was pragmatic and flexible in his approach. (10) James was far too honest for his own good and believed in letting everyone know about his beliefs. (10)

Marriage and Children

To Anne Hyde

 

Anne Hyde
Figure 3: Anne Hyde

 

James married twice. (5,9) In exile (11,14) in The Hague, (14) he carried on a scandalous affair (13) with Anne Hyde, (11,13) his sister’s maid of honour (15) [OR] one of his sister’s ladies-in-waiting. (14) She was the common-born (8,11) daughter of Edward Hyde (8,9) one of his brother’s strongest supporters, (14) later (9,11) [OR] at the time (12) Earl of Clarendon. (5,9) He was Charles II’s chief minister (4,8) as Lord Chancellor, (15) and James was his strong political supporter. (12) It turned into more than a fling. (13) Unfortunately for everyone else, Anne and James fell in love. (13,14) While courting (13) OR] trying to seduce (18) Anne Hyde in 1659, (13,18) James promised to marry her (11,13) if she fell to his seduction. (13) [OR] He got her pregnant, (11,13) by 1660 (13,14) and actually followed up on his promise, (13) This was in spite of the fact that everybody, (13) (Anne’s father included (13,18) wanted Charles’s heir presumptive to be married to a noble, (13) no matter what he had pledged beforehand. (13,18) Despite her respectable parentage (9) as Hyde’s daughter (8,9) she was ‘only a commoner’, (8,11) and so not considered a suitable match (9,15) for a dynasty trying to secure its rightful place among European royalty. (15) The marriage was kept secret until (9,14) his return to England [OR]Anne was visibly pregnant, (9,14) and when it was revealed (8,9) after his brother was restored as King, (11,14) it created an immediate (18) controversy. (8,9) Everyone urged the two not to marry, (18) but they (4,5) made a pledge to each other in what might have been a marriage ceremony (14) [OR] married (4,5) in secret (9,13) on November 24th (9,14) [OR] 2nd (13) September (12,13) 1660, (4,7) The King was consulted, and (14) James and Anne were officially married (14,18) at Worcester House in London (14) on September 3rd, (14,18) [OR] October 22nd (9) 1660, (9,14) just seven weeks [OR] less than two months (18) before the birth of their first child (14,18) Anne was the last Englishwoman to marry the heir to the English throne before Lady Diana Spencer. (9,16) As his wife, (5,9) and by now Duchess of York, (9) she influenced many of his decisions. (8,11) Their affection and (13,18) Anne’s influence on James’s political decisions remained strong. (8,13) Samuel Pepys thought that ‘in all things but in his codpiece, he is led by the nose by his wife’. (8) Aubrey thought that Anne’s only accomplishment was to be able to drain a large beer tankard in one go. (20)

Children of James and Anne

James and Anne struggled with fertility. (4,5) They had 7 (8) [OR] eight children, (5,8) all but two of which (4,5) (the future Queens (7,8) Mary and Anne (4,8)) would die (4,5) before their fifth year. (5,9) Their premaritally conceived son, (13) Charles Stuart, (9,11) styled (14) Duke of Cambridge (9,11) but never formally created Duke, (14) died from smallpox (14) on May 5th, 1661 (9) at the age of six months (9,14) [OR] just two months after birth. (13) He was buried at Westminster Abbey. (14) The future (13,14) Queen Mary II of England, (9,11) Scotland, and Ireland (9) born 30th April 1662 (9,18) 1662 (9,14) but five more of their children died young. (13,14) James Stuart (9,11) was born on July 12th, (9) 1663 (9,14) and was created Duke of Cambridge (9,14) and Baron of Dauntsey by his uncle King Charles II. (14) He was also named a Knight of the Garter but was never officially installed. (14) He died on May 22nd (9) 1667. (9,14) Next came the future (13) Queen Anne of Great Britain (9,11) and Ireland, (9) who was born on February 6th (9,18) 1665. (9,14) She married Prince George of Denmark, but had no surviving issue, (14) and died on August 1st (9) 1714. (9,14) Then came Charles Stuart, (9,14) styled (14) Duke of Kendal (9,11) who was born on July 4th (9) 1666 (9,14) and died on June 20th, (9) 1667, (9,14) at the age of ten months. (14) He was never official created Duke of Kendal because of his early death. (14) He was buried at Westminster Abbey. (14) Little Charles died first and three-year-old James died three weeks later and was also buried at Westminster Abbey in London, England. (14) Both probably died of smallpox or the bubonic plague. (14) Edgar (9,11) [OR] Charles (11) Stuart, Duke of Cambridge (9,11) was born on September 14th (9) 1667. (9,14) He was created was Duke and Earl of Cambridge and Baron of Dauntsey by his uncle King Charles II. (14) Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts was named after him. (14) Edgar died (9,14) on November 15th, 1669. (9) [OR] 1671, (14) at the age of three (14) [OR] two (9) and was buried at Westminster Abbey in London, England. (14) Henrietta Stuart was born (9,14) at the Palace of Whitehall (14) on January 13th (9) 1669 (9,14) She was named after her paternal grandmother Henrietta Maria of France, (14) and died (9,14) at St. James Palace (14) on November 15th (9) 1669 (9,14) (9) when she was ten months old. (9,14) She was buried at Westminster Abbey. (14) Catherine Stuart was born (9,14) at the Palace of Whitehall (14) on February 9th (9) 1671. (9,14) Anne died (5,9) of breast cancer (13,14) on March (5,9) 31st (9) 1671, (5,8) when she was just 34 years old. (13,14) She was buried in the vault of Mary, Queen of Scots in the Henry VII Chapel at Westminster Abbey. (14) The baby Catherine died (9) about six (14) [OR] seven weeks later (14!) at the age of 10 months (14) on December 5th (9) 1671, (9,14) and was buried at Westminster Abbey. (14) In the end, the couple had just two surviving daughters, the future queens Mary and Anne. (9,14) James was devoted to his family and played with his children: (11,13) Samuel Pepys said that he doted on and played with the girls ‘like an ordinary private father of a child.’ (13,18) which was not the norm for royalty in those days. (11,13)

To Mary of Modena

 

Mary of Modena
Figure 4: Mary of Modena

 

On 20th September 1673, (11,18) the 40-year-old (13) James married (5,7) the 15 year old (8,11) Marie Beatrix d’Este (9) daughter of the Duke of Modena. (8) and so Princess of Modena (usually known as (9) Mary of Modena) (5,7) by proxy in a Catholic ceremony. (18) On November 21st (9,18) 1673, (5,7) On 21st November, Mary arrived in England and Nathaniel Crew, Bishop of Oxford, performed a brief Anglican service that did little more than recognise the Catholic marriage. (18) When James introduced his daughters Mary (age 11) and Anne (age eight) to their new stepmother, Mary of Modena (age 15), he reportedly cut the tension by self-reflexively quipping, ‘I have brought you a new play-fellow’. (13) It’s said he was pleased with his young bride’s beauty. (13) Mary, in turn, burst into tears every time she had to look at him. (13) Mary Beatrice had several miscarriages and stillbirths (14) and had five (8) [OR] six (9,16) [OR] 12 (11) seven (14) live births. (14) Of these only Louise Maria (8,9) Theresa (9) [OR] Teresa (11) and, on 10th (6,10) June 1688 (4,6) a son, (8,9) the ‘warming pan baby’ ( James (8,9) Francis Edward, (4,6) Prince of Wales, (9,14) the future ‘Old Pretender’ of the Jacobite cause, (7,8) survived (8,9) childhood. (14) The other children were Catherine Laura Stuart, who was born (9,14) at St. James Palace (14) on January 10th, (9) 1675. (9,14) She was named after Catherine of Braganza, the wife of her uncle King Charles II of England, and her maternal grandmother Laura Martinozzi, Duchess of Modena. (14) Laura Catherine Laura’s Catholic mother had her baptized in a Catholic rite but her uncle Charles II carried her off to the Chapel Royal and had her christened in a Church of England rite. (14) She died at the age of nine months (14) on October 3rd, 1675 (9) [OR] 1676, (14) and was buried at Westminster Abbey. (14) Isabel (11,14) [OR] Isabella (14!) [OR] Isabelle Stuart was born on August 28th, 1676 (9,14) at St. James Palace. (14) She was the first of her parents’ children to survive infancy but died at the age of four. (14) She died on March 2nd (9) 1681, (9,14) and was buried at Westminster Abbey. (14) Charles Stuart, Duke of Cambridge (9,14) was born on November 7th, (9) at St. James’ Palace and though styled Duke of Cambridge was never formally created Duke. (14) He died on December 12th, (9) 1677, (9,14) one month (16) [OR] 35 days after his birth (9,14) He was buried at Westminster Abbey. (14) Elizabeth was born and died in 1678. (14) Charlotte Maria Stuart (9,14) was born on August 16th, (9) 1682 (9,14) at St. James’ Palace. (14) She died of convulsions (14) at the age of two months (9,14) on October 16th, 1682, (9,14) and was buried at Westminster Abbey. (14) The two marriages produced 20 (12 and this piece!) [OR] 12 children. (5,8)

Illegitimate children

Arabella Churchill
Figure 5 Arabella Churchill

The office of Lord High Admiral, combined with his revenue from post office and wine tariffs (granted him by Charles upon his restoration) gave James enough money to keep a sizeable court household. (18) He enjoyed the benefits of being a king’s brother again, (13) and after his marriage he continued to deserve the reputation of being as great a libertine as his brother, (8,12) who sired at least 14 illegitimate children. (14) James had a reputation for being ‘the most unguarded ogler of his time’ (13,18) and is known to have had many mistresses, (11) and a number of illegitimate children. (9,11) Aubrey relates how Sir John Denham (who had helped James to escape from captivity in St James’ Palace)

married his second wife, Margaret Brooks, a very beautiful young lady: Sir John was ancient and limping. The Duke of York fell deeply in love with her (though I have been morally assured he never had any carnal knowledge of her)” (20)

Catherine Sedley
Figure 6 Catherine Sedley

Anne didn’t seem to take this personally. (13) James kept two influential mistresses. (11,13) Arabella Churchill (9,11) the longest ‘serving’, (9) stayed at his side for ten years. (13) She wasn’t considered a great beauty. (13) One chronicler wrote how the Churchills found it ‘a joyful surprise that so plain a girl had attained such high preferment.’ (13) She gave James four illegitimate children (two during his wife’s lifetime) (13) These were Henrietta FitzJames (11,14) born in 1667, (14) James FitzJames, (9,11) 1st Duke of Berwick, (9,11) (1670 – 1734), Henry FitzJames, (9,11) 1st Duke of Albemarle (9,14) (1673 – 1702), and Arabella FitzJames (1674 – 1704), who became a nun. (14) Catherine Sedley (11,13) was James’s most powerful mistress, who resided with him both before and after he became king. (13) Sedley was also ‘notoriously plain’ by the standards of the day (she had an unfashionably thin figure and brown hair). (13) She herself was bewildered at having been chosen. “It cannot be my beauty for he must see I have none, and it cannot be my wit, for he has not enough to know that I have any.” (21) His brother Charles II joked that James’s confessor must have ‘imposed’ these bland-looking lovers upon him as penance for his sins. (13) His illegitimate children by Catherine included Catherine Darnley (c.1681 – 1743), James Darnley (1684 – 1685) and Charles Darnley, who died young. (14)

Lord High Admiral

He maintained an active role in his brother’s court. (2,15) He reclaimed the title Duke of York. (9,10) He had been appointed Lord High Admiral when he was just three years old. (13) [OR] After the Restoration. (14) The title was meant to be ceremonial, (13,15) but it turned out to bear remarkable power in the reign of his brother. (13) At the Restoration he was confirmed (11,18) as Lord High Admiral (2,7) an office that carried with it the subsidiary (18) appointments of Governor of Portsmouth (11,18) Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. (8,11) He took his duties seriously. (15) Aubrey grudgingly concedes that “he was acquainted fully with the state of our naval power, and knew as much, if not more than the meanest sailor.” (20) Aubrey describes him visiting Avebury with the King c 1663 “where I showed him that stupendous antiquity with a view thereof he and His Royal Highness the Duke of York were very well pleased His Majesty then commanded me to write a description of it from presented to him and the Duke of York commanded me to give an account of the old camps and barrows on the Plains.” (20)

Fire of London

He won the hearts of the people of London by his gallant actions when he was put in charge of the fire-fighting operations (11,13) taking over for the absent Lord Mayor (13,18) (Thomas Bloodworth. (18)) to quench the Great Fire of London (11,13) in September (18) 1666. (11,13) This was not a political office, but his actions and leadership were noteworthy. (18) ‘The Duke of York hath won the hearts of the people with his continual and indefatigable pains day and night in helping to quench the Fire’, wrote a witness in a letter on 8 September. (18)

Anglo-Dutch Wars

Battle of Lowestoft
Figure 7: Battle of Lowestoft

As Lord High Admiral (2,7) James took command of the Royal Navy (2,4) It was an era of major reform both in terms of naval expansion and training. (10) He did much to maintain the efficiency and improve the organization of the navy. (12) He commanded the Navy (11,12) taking an especially active role (15) in the naval warfare (7,9) during the (8,9) opening campaigns of the (12) 2nd Anglo-Dutch war (8,9) (1665-67). (10,11) He won a victory (9,10) over Dutch forces at the Battle of Lowestoft. (9) He was also involved in the 3rd (8,10) from 1660 to1673 (4) [OR] (1672 (7,10)-74). (10,11) [OR] In 1668 or 1669. (2) [OR] in 1665. (7,9) Following the raid on the Medway in 1667, James oversaw the survey and re-fortification of the southern coast. (18) His conduct of the admiralty – in administration, (15) and his courageous leadership in battle, (10,15) but not his strategy, (10) won favourable notice from others, (10,15) including the diarist and naval administrator Samuel Pepys. (15) This was to be his last taste of active military, command until 1688. (12)

Colonial activity

Africa

As Duke of York, (9,11) he showed considerable interest in colonial ventures, (12,15) which he hoped would secure a strong monarchy; at least one reason for this was the Restoration settlement, put in place when Charles II regained the throne, which rendered the royal income dependent on customs and excise revenues (15) on wine. (19) Of the ten monarchs who ruled in London during the colonial period, James II was the most directly involved in American affairs. (15) His involvement began prior to his reign: early in the Restoration period, as duke of York, James engaged in commercial ventures such as the Royal Fisheries Company, and the Hudson’s Bay Company. (15) In October 1660, (13) James was made head (9,11) of the Royal (11,16) Adventurers (16) [OR] Adventure (11) into Africa (11,16) a.k.a. the Royal African Company (9,13) which the Stuart family set up when they retook the throne in 1660, (9) he administered colonies in Africa. (7,9) The Royal African Company was (9,17) a slave trading company (18) [OR] heavily involved in the slave trade, (9,17) monopolising the British end of it. (9) He consolidated the British hold over the African coast to facilitate the slave trade, (11,13) capturing Dutch slave ports so the British could use them instead. (13) Thousands of his slaves were branded on the forehead with the letters ‘DY’, (9) earning him a reputation for cruelty. (16)

America

In 1664, (9,11) the British (11,14) [OR] English (9,12) on James’s initiative (12) seized (9,11) American territory (14,18) between the Delaware and Connecticut rivers, (11,18) from the Dutch. (11,12) Under Dutch rule it had been called ‘New Netherlands’ (14) and its capital had been called ‘New Amsterdam’. (9,11) Following (9,12) its capture, (9,11) his brother the king gave him charge of the territory (11,18) on which the city stands. (7,18) and he thus became its colonial proprietor (15) New Amsterdam was renamed the City of New York to honour James. (9,11) 150 miles upstream on the Hudson River, the former Dutch Fort Orange was renamed Albany (14,17) (now the capital of New York State) after Charles’4 second (14) [OR] James’s Scottish (18) title, Duke of Albany. (14,18) After the founding (18) [OR] even before the invasion that wrested the area away from the Dutch (15) James granted away much of that territory (15,18) (New Jersey) to two courtier friends, Sir (15) John Berkeley (15,18) and Sir (15) George Carteret, (15,18) and in 1681 he endorsed an even more generous royal grant of New York lands to William Penn. (15) who had, says Aubrey “found favour with Charles II and also the Duke of York, and many of the nobility of men of quality and learning in this Kingdom.” (20) These acts of patronage are best understood as ducal largesse, although they also look like bad policy: the loss of New Jersey, ceded for a grand total of ten shillings and a nominal rent, saddled New York’s governors with revenue problems. (15) The famous Charter of Liberties and Privileges (1683), which granted New York a sort of parliamentary system, may have been an attempt to address these issues. (15) The charter was short-lived, however, and if it was parliamentary in intent, it sat oddly with contemporary efforts to subject English colonies in America and the West Indies to stricter imperial oversight. (15) His 1683 extension of representative government to New York, by way of the Charter of Liberties and Privileges may have also been motivated to maximise income from that source. (15) These efforts were epitomized in Virginia by Charles’s and James’s attempts to limit the power of the General Assembly—most notably through a plan to extend Poynings’s Law, which in 1495 had removed the legislative initiative from the Irish parliament, to the colonies. (15) These attempts were overseen somewhat fitfully by Crown-appointed governors, first by Thomas Culpeper, baron Culpeper of Thoresway, whom James knew well, and then by Francis Howard, baron Howard of Effingham, whom James himself commissioned. (15) Colonists in power, mainly in the House of Burgesses, stubbornly resisted Poynings’s Law and thus retained initiative power in all legislation, including money bills. (15) But, as in England, James’s peaceful accession to the throne was celebrated by loyal Virginians, as demonstrated by a commemorative sermon delivered by the Reverend Deuel Pead in James City on April 23, 1686—the first anniversary of James II’s coronation. (15) Pead, a favourite of Governor Lord Effingham’s, delivered an extravagantly loyal address that endorsed the new monarch’s divine right to rule and wished for a long and happy reign in which God would grant peace to ‘Jerusalem metropolis’ and to James II ‘the hearts of his subjects, and the necks of his enemies’. (15) Lord Howard duly sent Pead’s sermon to London to be printed, but it was not to be. (15) Instead, its Tory platitudes were buried in the ruins of James’s kingship. (15) James’s life and political career were dominated not by his commercial and colonial interests, or by the Scottish interlude, but by his conversion to Catholicism. (15) In 1683, James became the governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, but did not take an active role in its governance. (18)

Conversion to Catholicism

After his libidinous youth he turned increasingly to religion in his later years. (7) [OR] His education had embedded in him two things: a devotion to the memory of his father5 and an adherence to absolute Catholicism6. (10) Aubrey says that

Sir Jonas Moore was tutor to the Duke of York in 1647. The Duke said that mathematicians and physicians had no religion: and when this was told to Jonas Moore he presented his duty to the Duke of York and wished, with all his heart, that His Highness were a mathematician, too: this was since he was supposed to be a Roman Catholic.” (20)

Exile on the continent (8,9) in France and Spain, (8,11) exposed him to Roman Catholicism. (8,9) It’s believed he and his wife Anne had been drawn to Catholic beliefs from his years in France. (13,14) [OR] While serving with the Spanish army, James experienced his first rift with Protestantism. (13,18) He became friendly with two Irish Catholic brothers (13,18) in the Royalist entourage, (18) Peter and Richard Talbot, and became somewhat estranged7 from (13,18) his brother’s Anglican advisers, (18) [OR] the Anglican clique’. (13) By the late 1660s, (13,18) in 1668 or 1669 (18) he had taken part in the Catholic Eucharist. (13,18) although his conversion was kept secret for some time. (18) [OR] Anne converted secretly in 1670. (14) She was instrumental in James’ conversion to Roman Catholicism shortly afterward, [OR] In the 1660s, (13) [OR] In 1669, (4,10) [OR] in 1673 (11) [OR] sometime about 1668 (5) [OR] in 1668 or 1669 (12,15) [OR] about 1670 (7) [OR] in 1670. (8) [OR] in his years of exile, 1648-60 (11,16) James (2,3) secretly (13,15) converted from Protestantism to Catholicism (2,3) He and Anne eventually (9) officially left the Church of England (11) and were admitted to the Roman Catholic Church, though on his brother’s insistence (12) he continued to take the Anglican sacraments (12,18) until 1672, (12) and attended Anglican services until 1676. (12,13) His conversion had little effect on his political views, which were already formed by his reverence for his dead father and his close association with the High Church party. (12) In spite of his conversion, James continued to associate primarily with Anglicans, including John Churchill and George Legge, as well as French Protestants, such as Louis de Duras, the Earl of Feversham. (18) James, in fact, was always more favourable to the Anglican church than was his Protestant brother the King. (12) He welcomed the prospect of England’s re-entering the European war on the side of the Dutch. (12)

Development of the Succession Question

James was the heir-presumptive, (17,12) but however potentially unpopular James religious views might have been (9,12) there was at this time little prospect of his becoming king, Charles being still a young man and more than capable of fathering legitimate children (9,17) (in view of the number of illegitimate ones he already had). (9), the conversion of the heir presumptive to the throne roused great alarm in the general public: (12) the Earl of Lauderdale said that he was ‘As very papist as the pope himself’. (8) Many people in Britain were extremely concerned about a Catholic monarch, (9,12) and now, (11,12) in view of the queen (12,17) Catherine of Braganza’s (17) childlessness, (12,17) if the king did not produce an heir, James would become king. (11,12) His conversion to Catholicism was therefore a decision that would alter the course of his political life, (2) for in its cause he committed most of the excesses (7) which fuelled the distrust of his Protestant subjects who (3,9) viewed Catholicism with great fear and mistrust, (9) and accordingly placed the worst possible construction on his actions and statements. (3) Charles was in good health for a number of years after this but as his health failed, (10) James producing an heir, and the King failing to produce one, became an increasing possibility. (9,12) While he continued to fail to produce a legitimate heir, James remained next in line to the throne. (13,14) His conversion intensified old fears about Catholic absolutism and raised newer ones about French influence. (14,15) After his conversion to Roman Catholicism, (8,14) it was looking as if England might have to face its first Catholic ruler in more than 100 years. (13) His religion, his pro-French policies, and his anti-parliamentarian sentiments attracted the hostilities of the emerging Whig party, (7) He became increasingly unpopular, (5,9) and the question who would inherit the throne, put him at the centre of a political crisis. (10,12)

The Test Act, 1673

The 1670s a turbulent time for him. (12) His Protestant opponents in (14) Parliament (8,17) became alarmed at the prospect of Catholic succession and (8) of Catholic influence at court (17) and passed (8,14) [OR] the king was forced to introduce (9) the Test Act (1673), (4,7) intended to deprive Catholics, (7,8) particularly James, (7) of government office. (7,8) It required all civilian government employees (14,15) and members of the Armed Forces (13,14) to take an oath, (14) [OR] Protestant oaths (15) which (14,17) officially disavowed the doctrine of transubstantiation and denounced certain practices of the Roman Catholic Church (13,17) as ‘superstitious and idolatrous’. (17) It was therefore incompatible with the teachings of the Catholic Church. (13,14) They also had to receive Holy Communion according to the rites of the Church of England. (14,17) As a secret Catholic for years, (13,15) James obviously couldn’t disavow transubstantiation, (13) and he took a stand against it (4,13) and other anti-Catholic moves, (4) refusing to take the oath (13,14) or to receive Holy Communion according to the rites of the Church of England, (14,17) thereby relinquishing [OR] and resigned (14,15) the office of Lord High Admiral, (13,14) letting his religious persuasion became more widely known. (13,15) He could no longer be Lord High Admiral but he did continue to work with the Admiralty even after this (10) [OR] he resigned from the Admiralty. (7)

Marriage to Mary of Modena

Despite all this, King Charles II allowed his brother James to make his second (14,17) marriage to the 15 year old (8,11) Mary (7,9) [OR] Marie Beatrix d’Este (9) of Modena (5,7) daughter of the Duke of Modena. (8) and so Princess of Modena (usually known as (9) Mary of Modena) (5,7) She was a staunchly (8,15) Catholic (5,8) Italian princess, (8,11) on September 20, 1673. (14) This gave further offence: (12,13) many British people distrusted the new Duchess of York (14,18) and looked upon her as ‘an agent of the Pope’. (8,14) Mary was also still fertile. (13) Charles II opposed James’s conversion, (17) and in 1677, (13,14) insisted that James’s daughters, Mary and Anne, be raised in the Protestant faith. (12,14) James reluctantly consented to (18) [OR] tried to appease the Protestants by (14) consenting (12,13) to this (12) and to the marriage of his elder daughter, Mary, to (12,13) her first cousin (14) the Protestant William of Orange. (12,13) Despite this concession, the fear of a future Catholic monarch remained and was exacerbated by (14) the failure of the marriage of King Charles II to produce any children. (14,15)

James and Politics

The distrust between James and the people was mutual (8,12) [OR] for most of his life James was the spokesman of the conservative Anglican courtiers, who believed that his views on monarchy and Parliament coincided with theirs, who found his formal and humourless nature more congenial than Charles’s slippery geniality, and who respected his frank acknowledgment of his religious beliefs. (12) James developed the belief that Parliament could only be controlled by an authoritarian approach – not that different from his father, or his brother in the later years of his reign. (10) In 1679 he stated that ‘the monarchy, … I thank God, yet has had no dependency on parliaments nor on nothing but God alone.’ (7) Within the strict letter of the constitution, James was not wrong about the relationship between king and parliament, (7)

The Popish Plot, 1678

By 1678 James’s Roman Catholicism had created a climate of (12,15) anti-Catholic (17,18) hysteria. (12,15) A defrocked Anglican clergyman, Titus Oates, (17,18) falsely spoke of (12,17) a Jesuit conspiracy (15) a Popish Plot (12,15) to assassinate Charles and put his brother on the throne (12,15) The fabricated (12,17) [OR] alleged (15) tale was generally believed, (12) and from 1679 to 1681 (7,12) the Whigs in (7) three successive Parliaments (12) strove to exclude James from the succession. (5,7) by statute. (12)

Exile 1679-82

During that time, (9,12) because of his Catholic faith (9,12) King Charles ordered his brother to (11) leave England (9,12) for Brussels (11,12) In 1679. (15) [OR] in 1680 (17) he became Lord High Commissioner of Scotland. (15,17) He lived in Scotland, (9,12) taking up his residence at the Palace of Holyrood House (17) in Edinburgh. (9,12) In Scotland the religious controversy was even more complex by the strength of the Presbyterians. (9) His inflexible conduct from 1679 to 1682 showed that he was not one to go overboard with experiments in liberty. (15) He became extremely unpopular, (8,9) and was given the nickname ‘Dismal Jimmy’. (8)

The Exclusion Crisis (1678–1683)

In 1679 (8) Anthony Ashley Cooper, (14,17) 1st Earl of (14) Shaftesbury, (8,14) a former government minister, and now the leading enemy of James and a Catholic succession (17) with others made (14) attempts to exclude the Catholic James from the line of succession, introducing (8,14) an Exclusion Bill (7,8) [OR] successive Parliaments introduced bills (15) to exclude James from the succession (7,8) and some even suggested that the (8,14) eldest (14) illegitimate son of King Charles II, (8,14) James Scott, (14,17) 1st (17) Duke of Monmouth should be the heir to the throne. (8,14) The Exclusion Bill crisis contributed to the development of the English two-party system; the Whigs were those who supported the Bill, whilst the Tories were those who opposed it. (17) Charles was, somewhat surprisingly, steadfast for the legitimate succession. (15) and stood by his brother. (5,7) When, in 1679, (17) the Exclusion Bill was in danger of passing, (5,17) the King (7,8) [OR] his own tenacious defence of his rights (12) prevented the passage of the Exclusion Bill (5,17) by dissolving Parliament. (8,17) Two further Parliaments were elected in 1680 and 1681, but were dissolved for the same reason. (17) Charles played politics with vague promises of limitations on a Catholic successor, made further guarantees concerning the Protestant tutelage of Mary and Anne (James’s daughters by his first wife, Anne Hyde). (15) He crushed the opposition, (7,8) storing up grievances against the Whigs that would help fuel the so-called Tory Reaction of 1682–1685. (15) The hysteria of the accusations eventually faded, (18) and in 1682 James returned to England (7,12) and was reinstated in the Admiralty and the Council. (7) He resumed the leadership of the Anglican Tories, whose power in local government was re-established and increased by the ‘remodelling’ of the borough corporations and the government of the counties in their favour, (12) but James’s relations with many in the English Parliament, including the Earl of Danby, a former ally, were forever strained and a solid segment turned against him. (18)

The Rye House Plot, 1683

In 1682 (7,12) [OR] 1683, (13,17) both Charles II and then-Prince James became targets of (13,17) a Protestant (17) murder (13,17) plot to overthrow the royal family and restore a Cromwellian-style government. (11,13) What was shocking about this plan, called the Rye House Plot, was that it might have been (13) [OR] was (11) instigated by Charles’s own illegitimate son, (11,13) James Scott, the Duke of Monmouth. (13) The plot failed utterly. (17) Some of the conspirators killed themselves before they could be questioned, while Monmouth confessed his role, but then recanted. (13) Monmouth survived the ordeal, though he was sent into exile afterward. (13) James gained sympathy and (11,15) returned to England. (7,11) James once again found himself influential in government. (12,17) By 1684 James’s influence on state policy was paramount: (12) his brother restored him to the office of Lord High Admiral, (17) and to the privy council (18) in 1684. (17,18)

Accession Feb. 1685

Charles died (5,9) due to apoplexy (11,13) in his fifties (9) without legitimate heirs (5,9) though quite a number of illegitimate ones, (16) on February 6th (15,16) 1685. (5,11) James (9,13) at the age of 51 (8), was next in line for the thrones of both England and Scotland. (9,13) the Exclusion Bill did not impede his succession to the throne on Charles’ death. (4,5) A Catholic king shocked the country, but that wasn’t the only bombshell: (13) Charles had converted to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed, apparently ceding to his little brother’s preferred faith. (13,14)

Honeymoon

Coronation James Mary
Figure 8: Coronation of James and Mary of Modena

And so on February 6th, 1685 he succeeded, (1,6) unconditionally and without incident, (15) to become James II, King of England and Ireland, and King of Scotland as James VII. (1,2) His official style was ‘James the Second, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc.’ (17) The claim to France was only nominal, and was asserted by every English King from Edward III to George III, regardless of the amount of French territory actually controlled. (17) On 22nd April (14) He (8,9) and Mary Beatrice were privately crowned and anointed in a Catholic rite in their private chapel at the Palace of Whitehall. (14) On the following day, April 23rd, (8,9) 1685, (1,2) they were crowned at Westminster Abbey, (8,9) following the Church of England rite but omitting Holy Communion. (14) Aubrey was present at this ceremony, and carefully recorded the catastrophes, which for him foreshadowed so clearly the disastrous end of King James’s troubled reign.

when King James II was crowned, according to the ancient custom, the peers went to the throne and kissed the King: the crown was almost kiss’d off his head. An Earl did set it right: and as he came from the Abbey to Westminster Hall, the Crown tottered extremely. … the canopy carried over his head by the Wardens of the Cinque Ports, was torn by a puff of wind as he came to Westminster Hall: it hung down very lamentably: I saw it. It was of cloth of gold and my strength I am confident could not have rent it, and it was not a windy day. The top of his sceptre (Fleur de lys) did then fall, which the Earl of Peterborough took up.”

Nor was this all

Upon Saint Mark’s day after the Coronation of King James II were prepared stately fireworks on the Thames. It happened, that they all took fire together, and it was so dreadful, that several spectators leapt into the River, choosing rather to be drowned than burned. In a yard by the Thames was my Lord Powys’s coaching horses: the horses were so frightened by the fireworks, that the coachman was not able to stop them, but ran over one who with great difficulty recovered.”

He was the first Catholic monarch to reign over England since Mary I of England died in 15588 and over Scotland since the deposition of Mary I of Scotland in 1567. (9) However, he never took the Scottish coronation oath. (9,16) There was very little overt opposition (12,17) or even criticism, and (12) Tory fears of a repeat of the civil wars (15) made it seem likely that the strong support of the Anglicans would make him one of the most powerful of the 17th-century British kings. (12) There were widespread reports of public rejoicing at the orderly succession. (19) He had widespread support in all three countries, largely based on the principle of divine right or birth, (6) and as was almost traditional, (10) the welcoming atmosphere was epitomized in England by the (15) very loyal (12,15) Parliament (10,12) that met in May (12,17) 1685. (12,15) It gave him a generous reception to give him a good start to his reign. (10) by handing him a large income (10,12) including all of the proceeds of tonnage and poundage and the customs duties, (18) the largest grant given to any Stuart monarch. (10) The new King sent word that even most of the former exclusionists would be forgiven if they acquiesced to his rule. (18) Most of Charles’s officers continued in office, the exceptions being the promotion of James’s brothers-in-law, the Earls of Clarendon and Rochester, and the demotion of Halifax. (18) In America, too, he was welcomed. (15) His continued efforts to strengthen royal control over colonial governments (most notably in New England, but also in Virginia, Jamaica, and elsewhere) met with success as, fearful to offend their rightful monarch, colonists grudgingly gave way to many, although in Virginia not all, of these initiatives. (15) Indeed, the atmosphere was so welcoming that he could be forgiven for thinking he was king by divine approval as well as by divine right. (15) He had many laudable attributes, being brave, loyal, honourable, (3) and hard-working, (3,11) and he was at least as benevolent toward his people as his father had been. (3) There seemed to be no reason why he should not in time secure adequate toleration for his coreligionists. (12)

Post Honeymoon

The ‘honeymoon’ only lasted a few months, (10) James’s road in London was to prove much rockier than in Boston or James City, and soon it became a road to ruin. (15) His relations with Parliament, the Church of England, and the political nation (2) soured soon after he took the throne (2,10) and he began a troubled reign of nearly 4 years. (7) He immediately began to grant more rights and power back to Catholic factions in the country. (13) He allowed Catholics to occupy the highest offices of the Kingdoms (18) and was the first English ruler since Mary I to receive a papal nuncio (Pope’s representative). (13,17) Ferdinando d’Adda (13,18) was the first Roman proxy (13) officially accredited to St. James’ Palace (12) in London (13) since the reign of Mary I, (18) over 100 years previously. (13) To a largely Anglican country, this visit was very alarming. (13) When the King’s Secretary of State, the Earl of Sunderland, began replacing office-holders at court with Catholic favourites, James began to lose the confidence of many of his Anglican supporters. (18) Failing to understand his subjects, James was also misunderstood by them: although he came to see the securing of religious freedom for Catholics in the wider context of freedom for all religious minorities, his people naturally doubted the sincerity of his commitment to toleration. (3) He lacked the charisma of his father, Charles I, but (3) shared his tendency to reject (3,11) [OR] was less accommodating towards (11) others when their views differed from his own. (3,11) His dismissals of insufficiently loyal councillors, began early in his reign, and also caused concern. (15) Sunderland’s purge of office-holders even extended to the King’s Anglican brothers-in-law (the Hydes) and their supporters. (18)

Rebellions

James faced (4,7) many (17) [OR] two (8,11) rebellions. (4,7) illustrating the distrust which his subjects felt for him, (12,16) and sharpening the distrust which he felt for them. (12) Argyll and Monmouth both began their expeditions from Holland, where James’s nephew and son-in-law, William of Orange, had neglected to detain them or put a stop to their recruitment efforts. (18) Both rebellions were defeated, (9,12) with great ferocity (12) and his opponents were sentenced to death. (8,11) They hardened James’s resolve against his enemies and increased his suspicion of the Dutch. (18)

Monmouth

The first one was in southern England (9,11) as soon as June 11th, 1685 (9,14) less than two months after his coronation. (9,11) His nephew, (13) Charles II’s (4,7) oldest (14) illegitimate (4,7) and Protestant (9,14) son, (4,7) James Scott (14,17) the Duke of (4,8) Monmouth, (4,7), arrived in the West Country and (9) proclaimed himself king (9,16) at Lyme Regis on 11th June. (18) He ‘claimed the throne as the Protestant champion’. (14) This rebellion was (4,7) coordinated with another one by (13,18) Archibald Campbell, the Earl of (18) Argyll, in Scotland. (13,18) Monmouth’s attempts at a night-time surprise attack fell flat, (13,18) and the rising was easily (4) and harshly (5) crushed (4,7) by his army (11,14) led by Feversham and (18) John Churchill (8,16) (6th great grandfather of Winston Churchill) (8) on July (8,9) 5th , (9) 1685 (4,7) at the Battle of Sedgemoor (4,8) in Somerset. (8) The King’s forces quickly dispersed the ill-prepared rebels. (18) Monmouth was captured (13) and executed (4,9) (“messily beheaded” (4)) for treason (15) at the Tower of London (9,16) on 15th July 1685. (13,14)

Scotland

The other rebellion was (8,11) the smaller 300-men strong rising (13) in Scotland by the (8,11) Duke (8) [OR] Earl (8,11) of Argyll, (8) also the summer of 1685. (12) The rebellion was designed to place the Duke of Monmouth, Charles II’s illegitimate son, on the throne. (8) Argyll sailed to Scotland and, having arrived with fewer than 300 men, raised a few recruits mainly from his own clan, the Campbells. (10) Unable to convince many more to flock to his standard, he never posed a credible threat to James, (18) and the rebellion was quickly (8,11) and easily (13,18) crushed (8,11) by James’s army. (11) Argyll was captured at Inchinnan on 18th June 1685, and taken as a prisoner to Edinburgh. (18) A new trial was not commenced because Argyll had previously been tried and sentenced to death. (18) The King confirmed the earlier death sentence and ordered that it be carried out within three days of receiving the confirmation, (18) and Argyll was executed. (8,11)

The Bloody Assize

Retribution for the Monmouth Rebellion was exacted by (4,7) the infamous lord chief justice (4) [OR] The king’s judges including (17) Judge (4,7) George, 1st Baron (17) Jeffreys (4,7) (the ‘Hanging Judge’) (17) who hunted them down (19) and inflicted savage punishments: (4,8) some 250 of (18) Monmouth’s supporters in the south-west (9) were executed (18) by hanging or transported (8) as indentured servants in the West Indies in a series of trials that came to be known as (18) the ‘Bloody Assizes’. (4,8)

Huguenot Immigration

In 1685 Louis XIV of France revoked the Edict of Nantes which had allowed freedom of religion to Huguenot Protestants; this resulted in thousands of Huguenot craft workers and traders settling in England. (8)

Unpopular Policies

Bloody Assize

From his days as Duke of York, when he was heavily involved in the slave trade, James carried a reputation for cruelty. (16) Despite the lack of popular support for Monmouth, the public’s fears remained and were compounded by (9) the severity of the Bloody Assize, (4,7) which added to (9,16) James’s reputation for cruelty (9,16) and thoughtlessness (9) [OR] provoked little comment at the time and was seen by many as an appropriate response to an armed rebellion. (17)

Toleration of Catholics

Religious tension intensified from 1686. (17) James II set on a course of restoring Catholicism to England. (14) In the beginning of 1686 two papers were found in Charles II’s strong box and his closet, in his own hand, stating the arguments for Catholicism over Protestantism. (18) James published these papers with a declaration signed by his sign manual and challenged the Archbishop of Canterbury and the whole Anglican episcopal bench to refute Charles’s arguments: ‘Let me have a solid answer, and in a gentlemanlike style; and it may have the effect which you so much desire of bringing me over to your church.’ (18) The Archbishop refused on the grounds of respect for the late king. (18) Catholics made up no more than one-fiftieth of the English population, (18) and many of his subjects disapproved of his attempts to give civic equality to Roman Catholic and Protestant dissenters. (4,9) James’s Jesuit confessor, Edward Petre, was a particular object of Protestant ire (17)9 [OR] People were tolerant of his personal Catholicism. (6) Soon after his coronation (11) James advocated repeal of (18) [OR] did away with (11) the penal laws (18) punishing Catholics and Protestant dissenters (11) in all three of his kingdoms, but in the early years of his reign he refused to allow those dissenters who did not petition for relief to receive it. (18) Through individual ‘dispensations’ of the Test Act (15) did away with laws punishing Catholics and Protestant dissenters. (11,12) People disapproved of his apparent preference for Catholic officials, (4,9) His principal object seemed to be to fill positions of authority and influence with Roman Catholics, (4,5) and his reign is now remembered primarily for struggles over that issue. (1) He used the royal prerogative to place Catholics at court and in the army, which dismayed his supporters in parliament and roused opposition even on his royal council, (15) creating confrontation between him and the Archbishop of Canterbury and Anglican supporters. (11) He appointed Catholics to political (4,10) posts within the Civil Service, (10) the highest offices of the Kingdom. (17) James sent a letter to the Scottish Parliament at its opening in 1685, declaring his wish for new penal laws against refractory Presbyterians and lamented that he was not there in person to promote such a law. (18) In response, the Parliament passed an Act that stated, ‘whoever should preach in a conventicle under a roof, or should attend, either as preacher or as a hearer, a conventicle in the open air, should be punished with death and confiscation of property’. (18) In March 1686, James sent a letter to the Scottish Privy Council advocating toleration for Catholics but that the persecution of the Presbyterian Covenanters should continue, calling them to London when they refused to acquiesce. (18) The Privy Councillors explained that they would grant relief to Catholics only if a similar relief was provided for the Covenanters and if James promised not to attempt anything that would harm the Protestant religion. (18) James agreed to a degree of relief to Presbyterians, but not to the full toleration he wanted for Catholics, declaring that the Protestant religion was false and he would not promise not to prejudice a false religion. (18)

Ireland

This Catholicisation policy was especially marked in Ireland. (9,10) where the Catholic Irish rejoiced as James, using his kingly powers, nullified the Test Act which meant that Catholics and non-Conformists could advance in both military and civil careers. (16) Richard Talbot (16) the Earl of Tyrconnel, (10,16) a Catholic, was (16) [OR]was made (10) Lord Deputy (10,16) in January 1687, and immediately (10) and predictably (16) set about reversing traditionally Protestant policies, (10,16) replacing Protestant officials with Catholics. (16) By 1689 the vast majority of those sitting in the Irish parliament was of the Catholic faith. (16) This, naturally, caused the Irish Protestants to fear a re-enactment of the 1641 rebellion. (16) This fear was particularly strong in Ulster where Protestants, mostly from the Scottish lowlands, but many also from England, had appropriated most of the land from the days of Cromwell and the Ulster Plantations. (16)

Conflict with Parliament

It was, however, political rather than religious principle that ultimately led to his removal. (6) To many James seemed to be on a deliberate collision course with Parliament in a manner that resembled the mistakes made by Charles I. (10) He favoured autocratic methods. (5,10) This led to conflict with parliament. (4,7) He attempted to master their opposition by controlling local elections. (7)

Standing Army

Public opinion became even more concerned (9,10) in 1686 (8) [OR] before November 1685 (10,12) when (9) Monmouth’s Rising motivated James to increase the size of (13.18) [OR] establish a large (17) personal standing army. (13) James set up (7,8) [OR] tried to create (9) [OR] expanded (11,13) a standing army. (7,8) This alarmed his subjects, not only because of the trouble soldiers caused in the towns, but because it was against the English tradition to keep a professional army in peacetime. (18) He held summer training camps for (10) 13,000 troops (8) on Blackheath (south-east of the city) and Hounslow Heath (to the west of the city) (10) [OR] at Hounslow (8) to overawe (8,10) nearby London, (7,8) should the king decide to ‘flex his muscles’. (10) The army was considerably increased, and (11,12) Parliament was alarmed by James’s use of his dispensing power to allow (18) the appointment of Catholics (4,10) who had had military experience abroad and whose loyalty was undoubted, (12) to the command (4,10) of the new regiments (11,12) without having to take the oath mandated by the Test Act. (18) These officers could reorganise the army on the lines of the French. (10) The appointment of these Catholic officers provoked a quarrel between king and Parliament. (10,12) When the English and Scottish Parliaments refused to pass his measures, James attempted to impose them by decree. (6)

Prorogation November 1685

Advised by the Quaker William Penn, who believed that Protestant were a greater danger to the country than Catholics, James decided that the only way ahead for himself was to dissolve Parliament and repeal the Penal Laws. (10) He prorogued Parliament (4,10) in November 1685, (10,12) and ruled alone for the rest of his reign. (4,12) He hoped one day to hold a general election whereby the result would end in a Catholic Parliament that would rubber stamp all that the king wanted. (10) James resorted to a ‘dirty tricks’ campaign. (10) As James forged his own political path, he increasingly sought advisors who showed complete loyalism and viewed even temporizing as subversive. (15) These traits, common enough among seventeenth-century monarchs, would eventually prove to be fatal flaws in James Stuart. (15) He used his authority to fill any office going with his own men – be it JP, Lord Lieutenant, Deputy Lord Lieutenant etc. (10) James also used agents to canvass the people outside of London as to their response to what he was doing. (10) James worked on the belief that no one wanted another civil war. (10)

Suspending and dispensing 1686

In 1686 the division between the king and his former allies, the Anglican Tories, deepened. (10,12) 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. (10) In May 1686, James sought to obtain a ruling from the English common-law courts that showed his power to dispense with Acts of Parliament was legal. (18) In June 1686 (10) the Court of King’s Bench (10,12) (which had been purged to remove any judge (10,12) such as Solicitor General Heneage Finch, (18) who may have objected) gave legal recognition (10,12) in the collusive action (12) Godden v. Hales (12,18) to what James had been doing (10,12) – putting his own men in positions of power. (10,12) The judges of King’s Bench (12) affirmed his dispensing power, with eleven out of the twelve judges in Godden (18) ruling in favour of the dispensing power. (12,18) The king had power to excuse individuals from the Test Oath; Roman Catholics were admitted to the Privy Council and subsequently to the high offices of state. (12)

Halley’s Weather Map

In 1686 Edmund Halley drew the first meteorological map showing weather systems.

1687

Declarations of Indulgence April 1687

In April (10,12) 1687, (4,10) believing in his Divine Right as King (7,8) he issued (4,8) the 1st (10) so-called (12) Declaration of Indulgence (4,8) also known as the Declaration for Liberty of Conscience, (17,18) aiming at complete religious toleration, (4,7) by decree and not by parliamentary statute, (7) using his dispensing power to negate the effect of laws punishing Catholics and Protestant Dissenters. (18) The controversial document was issued first in Scotland and then in England. (15) James provided partial toleration in Scotland, using his dispensing power to grant relief to Catholics and partial relief to Presbyterians. (18) It removed restrictions that had been imposed on those that did not conform to the Church of England, (14) suspending the Penal Laws (10,12) against Catholics and Non-Conformists (8,10 and repealed the 1673 Test Act, (8) granting religious minorities the right to worship. (7) His Declaration applied to people of any faith, Jews and Muslims as well as to Christians: We … declare, that it is our royal will and pleasure, that from henceforth the execution of all and all manner of penal laws in matters ecclesiastical, for not coming to church, or not receiving the Sacrament, or for any other nonconformity to the religion established, or for or by reason of the exercise of religion in any manner whatsoever, be immediately suspended; and the further execution of the said penal laws and every of them is hereby suspended . (17) The King continued: ‘we do freely give them leave to meet and serve God after their own way and manner, be it in private houses or in places purposely hired or built for that use. (17) ‘ He would rather ‘all people of’ his ‘dominions were members of the Catholic Church’ but ‘it is and has of long time been our constant sense and opinion (which upon divers occasions we have declared) that conscience ought not to be constrained nor people forced in matters of mere religion.’ (17) It has been debated whether James issued the Declaration to gain the political support of the dissenters, or if he was truly committed to the principle of freedom of religion. (17) In 1688, (18) James instructed Anglican clergy to read it from their pulpits, (4,18) further alienating the Anglican bishops against the Catholic governor of their church. (18) While the Declaration elicited some thanks from Catholics and dissenters, it left the Established Church, the traditional ally of the monarchy, in the difficult position of being forced to erode its own privileges. (18) He purged the Tories and Anglican clergy, and promoted his Catholic supporters in Parliament. (8)

Court of High Commission 1686

In July 1686, James created (10) [OR] revived the Anglican Church’s (7) Commission for Ecclesiastical Causes (10,12) to administer his powers as supreme governor of the Anglican church. (12) Its purpose was to tame the Anglican Church even though Parliament had banned prerogative courts in 1641. (10) Its first act was to (12) suspend Henry Compton, bishop of London, (12,17) one of the most outspoken critics of royal policy, (12) and several other Anglicans from political office. (17) This cost him much of his previous support. (17) The King also provoked opposition by (17,18) reducing the Anglican monopoly on education (11,17) by his policies relating to the University of Oxford (17,18) and Cambridge. (10) He appointed Catholics to academic posts, (4,7) expelling Protestant university officials. (7,10) He offended Anglicans by allowing Catholics to hold important positions in Christ Church and University College, two of Oxford’s largest colleges. (17)10

Magdalen College Oxford

He also attempted to force the Protestant Fellows of Magdalen College to elect Anthony Farmer, a man of generally ill repute who was believed to be secretly Catholic, as their president when the Protestant incumbent died, a violation of the Fellows’ right to elect a candidate of their own choosing. (18) One of the first things that the Court of High Commission did was (10) to expel (10,17) the Protestant (17) Fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford University, (10,17) appointing Roman Catholics including Bishop Parker in their place. (17) In 1687, Magdalen was turned into a Catholic institution. (10,12)

Parliament and Court purged July 1687

He attempted to garner support for his tolerationist policy by giving a speaking tour in the West of England in the summer of 1687. (18) As part of this tour, he gave a speech at Chester where he said, ‘suppose… there should be a law made that all black men should be imprisoned, it would be unreasonable and we had as little reason to quarrel with other men for being of different [religious] opinions as for being of different complexions.’ (18) In 1687 James was convinced by addresses from Dissenters that he had their support and so could dispense with relying on Tories and Anglicans. (18) He prepared to pack Parliament with his supporters so that it would repeal the Test Act and the penal laws, (15,18) and confirm his Declaration of Indulgence (15) He then dissolved (10,12) the already prorogued (4,10) Parliament on July (10,12) 2nd, (10) 1687. (10,12) He intensified his Roman Catholic policy (12) and dismissed Protestants at court (10,12) such as his Anglican brothers-in-law the earl of Clarendon and the earl of Rochester. (12) This left him with a predominantly Catholic court dominated by Robert Spencer, Earl of Sunderland. (10) In September he launched an intensive campaign to win over the Protestant dissenters and with their aid (12) secure a new Parliament more amenable to his wishes. (12,15) What those wishes were is still not clear: some of his utterances suggest that (12) he was strongly in favour of tolerance for all faiths. (12,16) others point to the establishment of Roman Catholicism as the dominant if not the exclusive religion of the state. (12) This confusion may well reflect the state of James’s own mind, which undoubtedly deteriorated in the years 1687–88, and some of his assertions, accusations, and threats at this time verge on the insane. (12) During that winter (12) James instituted a wholesale purge of those in offices under the crown opposed to James’s plan, appointing new lords-lieutenant and remodelling the corporations governing towns (12,18) and magistracies (12) and livery companies. (18) Corporations were purged by agents, known as the regulators, who were given wide discretionary powers in an attempt to create a permanent royal electoral machine. (18) Most of the regulators were Baptists and the new town officials that they recommended included Quakers, Baptists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians and Catholics, as well as Anglicans. (18) In October James gave orders for the lords-lieutenant in the provinces to provide three standard questions to all members of the Commission of the Peace: 1. (18) Would they consent to the repeal of the Test Act and the penal laws? 2. (18) Would they assist candidates who would do so? 3. (18) Would they accept the Declaration of Indulgence? During the first three months of 1688, hundreds of those asked the three questions who gave hostile replies were dismissed. (18) This inflamed the majority of the nobility and gentry, whose political and social power suffered by it. (12)

The Queen Pregnant November 1687

In November 1687 the announcement was made that the Queen was pregnant. (10,12) James now had the added incentive – to secure a Catholic nation for his heir. (10) The unexpected news that the queen was pregnant (November 1687), establishing the prospect of a Roman Catholic succession, alarmed most Protestants. (12) The nobles would not settle for a new Catholic dynasty. (13)

The Seven Bishops April 1688

The second11 crucial event was the prosecution of (6,8) the Seven Bishops (6) [OR] the Archbishop of Canterbury (8,17) William Sancroft and six (17) [OR] seven other Bishops. (8) On April (10,12) 27th (12) 1688, James (10,12) reissued the (12,17) [OR] issued a 2nd (10) Declaration of Indulgence. (10,12) On May 4th (12) he ordered (10,12) the clergy (15,17) to read the declaration out in church (10,12) on two successive Sundays. (10) The Archbishop of Canterbury refused to promulgate the decree. (7) In May 1688, (10) seven Bishops (10,12) (the archbishop of Canterbury and six of his bishops. (12,15) petitioned against the Declaration, (10,12) requesting the reconsideration of the King’s religious policies. (17) Their petition was subsequently published, (12) James made the mistake of prosecuting its authors (12) and in June 1688, the Archbishop and six (7) [OR] seven (8) bishops were arrested (7,8) and put in the Tower to await trial (10) for seditious libel, (6,10) This was viewed as an assault on the Church of England, (6) and in a tremendous defeat for the government (12) their acquittal on 30th June (6,10) to public joy (10) destroyed James’s political authority in England. (6,7) The occasion caused even passive observers to resent James’s autocracy, (7) and anti-Catholic riots in England and Scotland made it seem that only his removal as monarch could prevent a civil war. (6) On that day an all-party (10) invitation (10,12) from seven leading Englishmen (12) was sent to William of Orange (10,12) inviting him to lead an army to England. (12)

Figure 9 7 Bishops acquitted

The ‘Warming Pan Baby’

Bishops Acquitted
Figure 9 Bishops acquitted

When James became King, the fact that his heirs presumptive were his daughters Mary and Anne, who were both Protestants, made the prospect of a Catholic King more acceptable to the British public. (9,13) His people could tolerate this as a temporary stop in an Anglican succession. (13,14) On 10th (6,10) June 1688, (4,6) at the height of the Seven Bishops case, (6,10) James’s second wife, Mary of Modena, (4,5) who had no surviving children, (14) gave birth to a son, (4,5) James Francis Edward. (4,6) The birth of a Catholic male heir to the throne, greatly alarmed British Protestants (9) because it threatened to create a Roman Catholic dynasty (6,8) This son would be brought up as a Catholic (10) and have precedence over his Protestant half-sisters, (5) excluding his Anglican (6) daughter Mary and her Protestant husband William of Orange, (6,14) Many in Parliament also assumed that any child of James Edward would also be brought up as a Catholic and (10) they saw a Catholic monarchy stretching into the future. (10,13) Since Prince James Francis Edward was born five years after his mother’s last conception, the birth was treated with (convenient) suspicion by the Protestants at court. (13) Rumours spread that Mary of Modena had not really delivered a true Catholic heir. (13,14) There were systematic attempts to prove (9) that little James was really (13) ‘suppositious,’ a foundling (9) an imposter baby (9,13) substituted for a stillborn child. (17) and smuggled into the birthing room inside a warming pan, (9,13) The allegations were so serious that King James actually had to publish the testimony of over 70 people to confirm his son was born via natural birth—not by bedroom appliance. (13) The circumstances were indeed slightly mysterious: (12) [OR] there was no evidence for this, and the legitimacy of the Prince could not be seriously challenged. (9)

Appeal to William of Orange

Whether under individual dispensations or the Indulgence, James’s protection of (15) Jews, Muslims (17) and Protestant dissenters and continued preferment of Catholics so alienated the political nation that it ultimately decided to be more Anglican than loyalist. (15) There was widespread alarm: (4,8) politicians of all hue feared the potential for another civil war or the intervention of a European catholic power in support of James. (10) The dissatisfaction with James, (5,9) and the fear that a Catholic succession was now assured, (4,8) led to a conspiracy (9,10) to replace him with his estranged (9) daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange, (9,14) both dedicated Protestants. (9) Dislike of the King grew; ; the ‘warming pan baby’ helped to bring opposition to a head. (5,12) Threatened by a Catholic dynasty, several influential Protestants entered into negotiations with William, Prince of Orange, who was James’s son-in-law and nephew. (17) The first approaches were made to William of Orange, (12) the husband of the heiress presumptive Mary (12,14) and the champion of Protestant Europe against Louis XIV of France, in the Spring of 1687. (12) [OR] on June 30th, 1688. (17) A letter was sent to (13) James’ son-in-law (13,14) and nephew, (16) William of Orange. (10,12) It came from an all-party (10) [OR] Protestant (4,5) group of (6,10) the ‘Immortal Seven’ (13,17) seven (12,13) leading members of the English political class, (6,10) [OR] a few ardent opponents. (7) They included Admiral Edward Russell, Henry Sidney, the 4th Earl of Devonshire and the 12th Earl of Shrewsbury, who were all considered to be Whigs, but the invitation crossed party lines, because the Earl of Danby, Baron Lumley and Henry Compton, Bishop of London were all considered to be Tories. (10) they appealed to (4,5) William of Orange, (2,4) The Dutch Stadtholder, (8) [OR] Prince, (11,17) husband (2,4) and cousin (2) of James’s (2,4) older, and (4) Protestant, daughter Mary, (2,4) to save England’s Protestant religion (7,8) liberties and properties (7) [OR] democracy (8) by invading, (5,7) and in order that he might call a free Parliament to arbitrate on the legitimacy of the new baby. (12) He should lead an army to England, (5,7) overthrow his own father-in-law (13) and assume the English throne. (6,9) Confronted by these moves – and the knowledge (10,12) by September (12,17) that William of Orange had made it clear that he intended to invade (10,12) – James lost control of the situation. (10) On 24th August 1688, James ordered the issue of writs for a general election. (18) However, upon realising in September that William of Orange was going to land in England, James withdrew the writs. (18) He wrote to the lords-lieutenant to inquire over allegations of abuses committed during the regulations and election preparations as part of concessions to win support. (18) Effectively reversing many of the policies he had introduced, rather than stemming the tide, only served to make him seem more devious, that he would do anything to maintain his power. (10) [OR] William’s intentions were obvious, but James declined Louis XIV’s offer of assistance for fear of the reaction in England; in any case he was confident in the ability of his forces to repel invasion. (12,17)

Newton’s Principia Mathematica 1688

Isaac Newton published his Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy in 1688. (8)

Invasion of William of Orange

William of Orange
Figure 10 William lands at Brixham

William sailed under cover of the general war that had by then broken out in Europe. (12) Events showed that James was too complacent about the loyalties of his armed forces. (17) William’s 463 ships were unopposed by the (8) navy (4,8) which had deserted (4,5) to William’s side. (9) [OR] he evaded the English fleet. (12) On November (4,5) 5th, (5,6) (15, New Style) (12) 1688 (5,6) William landed with (4,8) a large Dutch (9) army (4,8) of 14,000 troops, (8) in Brixham (6,9) [OR] Torbay (8,10) [OR] Brixham on Tor Bay (12) in Devon. (4,10) vowing to safeguard the Protestant interest. (14) In the subsequent campaign, (5,12) William’s army grew (8,14) to over 20,000 (8) as he gathered local support during his advance on London. (8,14) Many lords rose in William’s favour – the Earl of Devonshire seized Nottingham on November 21st; Danby seized York on November 22nd and John Marlborough defected from the army to the side of William. (10) Meanwhile James advanced as far as Salisbury, Wiltshire, in November to meet William, (10) but the English army (4,6) with its (5,12) [OR] many of its (12,17) Protestant officers (5,12) who James had completely alienated, (4) deserted (4,5) to William’s side. (9,12) As a result James dared not (12) [OR] declined to (11) commit the army to a pitched battle. (11,12) Many prominent people including John Churchill (8,10) and James’s daughter Anne (8,11) also deserted the unpopular, autocratic, Catholic King. (5) This led to considerable anguish on the part of the King, (17) and finally shattered his nerve. (4,12) With too few (5,9) [OR] no (9,10) followers to defend him, (5,9) [OR] despite his army’s numerical superiority, (18) James panicked (14,18) and retreated back to London. (10) He sent the Queen and Prince James Edward to France (10,14) on December 9th. (10) On December 11th 1688 (17) he threw the Great Seal of the Realm into the River Thames, (8,17) an event that effectively ended his reign. (9) Following the Queen (10,14) one day (10) [OR] two days (17) [OR] about a month (14) later (10,14) he attempted to flee to France (10,12) but was recognised at Faversham, (10) Kent (10,12) and captured (5,10) and sent back to London. (10) On December 11th, 1688 he (8,9) abdicated. (8) [OR] he never officially abdicated and continued to claim the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland until his death. (9) Fortunately for James, the new king was not willing to make a potential Catholic martyr out of his (13,14) father-in-law. (13) [OR] his uncle12. (14) On December 23rd, William (6,10) secretly (13) allowed [OR] forced (9) James to make a second and successful escape (5,10) into exile in France. (5,6) He fled Britain and escaped (5,6) never to return (7) [OR] he returned to Ireland in 1689-90. (2,4) He landed at Ambleteuse, Pays de Calais, on Christmas Day 1688. (10) He had reigned for 3 years, 10 months, and 3 days. (8) The result was that James was deposed with surprising ease in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. (15) Most of the nation willingly allowed these events to run their course. (7) Seen against the royalist enthusiasms of 1683–1685, it was a remarkable denouement. (15)

The Glorious Revolution

William and Mary

The Convention Parliament

On January 28th, (9) [OR] February (4,6) 12th (12) 1689, (4,6) William convened (17) a special (6) irregular (17) Convention (6,12) Parliament. (4,6) The procedure of calling a Convention Parliament had been previously used when succession to the Throne was unclear; it was a Convention Parliament which restored Charles II to the Throne following the English Civil War and republican Commonwealth. (17) This one passed the Declaration of Rights, which charged James with attempting to ‘subvert and extirpate the Protestant religion and the laws and liberties of the kingdom.’ (7) James was deposed. (1,2) [OR] Parliament refused to depose James. (14) On February 12th, 1689 (17) the Convention declared that (4,6) James having fled (14) or ‘attempted to flee’ (17) to France (14,17) constituted an abdication, (4,6) and that therefore (6,14) [OR] then (17) the throne had become vacant (6,14) instead of passing to James II’s son, James Francis Edward. (17) In this sense, this was a Deposition Parliament, but it deposed the Old Pretender, not his father. (17) On February 13th (14) parliament offered the crown to William and Mary, (12,14) giving them the legal right to assume power. (9) [OR] His daughter Mary was declared Queen, (8,11) but she insisted on joint rule (8) [OR] she was to rule jointly (17) with her husband (8,14) and first cousin. (14) Parliament thus installed William and Mary as joint monarchs, (6,11) of England and Scotland (11) as Mary II and William III. (2,8) At that time, William, the only child of King James II’s elder sister Mary, was third in the line of succession after his wife and first cousin Mary and her sister Anne. (14) This ended a century of political and civil strife by (6) establishing the principle that sovereignty derived from Parliament, not birth. (6,9) The Scots Parliament followed suit in May. (12) This coup d’état (9,14) which overthrew James II [OR] the activity of the (4,6) Convention (6) Parliament (4,6) became known as ‘The Glorious Revolution’. (8,9) or the ‘Bloodless’ Revolution – though it was not the latter. (9) James was to prove the last Roman Catholic monarch of England, (1,5) Scotland and Ireland, (1,7) and the last Stuart King. (5,7)

Additional Legislation

Bill of Rights

William and Mary subsequently granted their assent to an Act commonly referred to as the Bill of Rights. (17) On April 11th, (13) James II was officially denounced by Parliament for ‘abuse’ of power. (13,17) The Act confirmed the earlier Declaration of Right, in which the Convention Parliament had declared that James’s flight constituted an abdication, and that William III and Mary II were to be King and Queen. (17) It criticized the suspension of the Test Acts, the prosecution of the Seven Bishops for merely petitioning the Crown, (13,17) the establishment of a standing army (17) and the imposition of cruel punishments. (13,17) The Bill also stipulated that because the revolution had been engendered by James’s Roman Catholicism (7,12) no Roman Catholic would be allowed to sit upon the English throne, nor could the monarch even marry a Roman Catholic. (11,13) This remains the case to this day. (13) The Act, furthermore, settled the question of succession to the Crown. (17) First in the line of succession were the children of William and Mary (if any), to be followed by the Princess Anne and her children, and finally by the children of William by any subsequent marriage. (17)

Toleration Act

William and Mary signed the 1689 Act of Toleration into law. (17) This gave freedom of worship and belief to Dissenters from the Church of England but not to Roman Catholics thus James’ concession to the dissenters remained in place while Catholics lost the rights he had guaranteed. (17)

Exile

He spent his later years in exile, again in France. (2,8) James II (2,8) with his wife (11,12) and son (8) were received in France by his cousin King Louis XIV (7,14) of France, (9,10) who gave him asylum. (7,8) He lived in the royal chateau (9,11) at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, (6,9) near Paris, (8,14) where a court in exile was established.(14) and given a pension (9,10) of one million livres a year (10) He lived at the chateau in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, for thirteen years. (15) He was determined to regain the throne (14) and made unsuccessful plots for restoration. (5) [OR] he showed little interest in recovering his kingdom after his flight to France in 1688. (3)

Ireland

He was not going to give up Ireland without a fight, (13) Until July 1690 French military and naval units aided the efforts of James’s English supporters, the Jacobites (from the Latin Jacobus, James), in Ireland. (7) He mounted an invasion of Ireland in 1689–1690. (2,4) James began this effort to restore himself (5,6) on 14th (6) March (4,6) 1689 (4,5) [OR]1690 (10) landing (4,5) a force (5,8) of French troops (8,10) in Ireland. (4,5) [OR] There he raised an army. (4,5) A Parliament was summoned (12,17) to Dublin. (12) It did not follow the example of the English Parliament; (17) it declared that James remained King, (11,12) and passed a massive bill of attainder against those who had rebelled against him. (18) At James’ urging, it passed an Act for Liberty of Conscience (17) which granted religious freedom to all Catholics and Protestants in Ireland. (11,17) James was able to mount some defence against King William’s forces in what became known as the Williamite War in Ireland. (13) [OR] The campaign to reclaim his throne was a disaster. (10) He showed none of his former military ability, and (12) his apparently cowardly behaviour (9,17) during a succession of Jacobite defeats in the island won him no friends (9) and earned him the nickname Séamus an Chaca (‘James the Shit’) in Ireland. (17) Despite this popular perception, Breandán Ó Buachalla argued that ‘Irish political poetry for most of the eighteenth century is essentially Jacobite poetry’, and both Ó Buachalla and Éamonn Ó Ciardha argued that James and his successors played a central role as messianic figures throughout the eighteenth century for all classes in Ireland. (18)

Battle of the Boyne

His Irish-French army (12) was defeated by William at the Battle of the Boyne (4,5) on July (4,6) 1st (7,9) 11th, New Style (12) 1690. (4,6) This brought his reign in Ireland to a conclusion. (9) He had lost his final hold on Great Britain. (13) and a hurried and undignified retreat, (10) led to the dissolution of much of his support. (17) He fled to France, (6,9) from Kinsale, (17) never to set foot on the British Isles again. (13) William’s generals reconquered Ireland the following year. (12)

Scotland

Despite a simultaneous rising in Scotland, (6) on April (6,9) 11th (9,17) 1690 (6) [OR] 1689 (9,17) a Scottish Convention (6) [OR] The Estates of Scotland (9) followed that of England by finding that James had ‘forfeited’ the throne and offered it to William and Mary. (6,9)

Later Life

Upon his return to France, James withdrew from active leadership of his own cause, (7) [OR] spent the rest of his life (14) in exile (6,8) in France, planning invasions that never happened. (14) He kept busy. (13) fathering another child on his young wife, a daughter named Louisa Maria Teresa, born in 1692, (13,14) who became known as ‘the Princess over the Water’. (13) His little daughter gave him great comfort as did letters from his daughter Anne who could never quite reconcile her betrayal of her father. (14) Mary, on the other hand, accepted his exile as a necessary evil for the sake of her religion and her country. (13) James wrote her a letter which lambasted his daughter for her poor excuse for daughterly loyalty. (13) He increasingly fell under Mary’s pietistic influence. (12) James’s supporters (known as Jacobites) would still toast James and his successors as the ‘King over the Water,’ in reference to his exile. (13) In France his supporters included the Earl of Melfort (18) most, but not all, were Roman Catholic. (17,18) When the Anglican Bishop of Elphin visited him James II said ‘If, as I trust, what I have suffered has benefitted my soul, then even William of Orange will have proved my best friend.’ (17) He also said ‘If occasion were, I hope God would give me his grace to suffer death for the true Catholic religion as well as banishment.’ (13,18) However, he aged rapidly (12), and lived as an austere penitent. (17) Daily more absorbed in his devotions, the more aggressive among his (12) few remaining loyal (11) supporters (11,12) came to regard him as something of a liability. (12) ‘His daughter Queen Mary II died on December 28th (9) 1694, (9,14) and James was reduced to little more than a pawn in the great series of intrigues between Louis and William. (9) In 1696, an attempt was made on King William III of England’s life, in the hopes of putting James II back on the throne but the plot failed. (13,17) Although William survived, the scandal ruined James’s international reputation forever. (13) Louis XIV offered to have James elected King of Poland in the same year, but James feared that acceptance of the Polish Crown might (in the minds of the English People) render him incapable of being King of England. (17) After that, Louis ceased to offer assistance to James: (17) the Treaty of (7,12) Rijswijk (12) [OR] Ryswick (7) between England and France (1697) removed his last hopes of restoration, (7,12) and demoralized him still further, by recognising the legitimacy of the regime of William and Mary. (7) He wrote a memorandum for his son advising him on how to govern England, specifying that Catholics should possess one Secretary of State, one Commissioner of the Treasury, the Secretary at War, with the majority of the officers in the army. (18) His Protestant progeny ruled in London until Anne’s death in 1714. (15)

Death

He died (2,3) at the court (2) in exile in Saint-Germain (2,4) -en-Laye (2,5) in France (4,5) [OR] in London, England (11) on 6th (8,10) [OR] 5/6 or 16/17, New Style (12), [OR] 16th September (4,6) 1701. (2,3) The cause of death was a cerebral haemorrhage. (2,5) He was 67 years, (8,11) 10 months, and 21 days, (8) He died a bitter man, never understanding why God had abandoned his cause. (10) He was (8,14) [OR] his viscera were (14) buried (8,14) at the Chateau (8) [OR] the Parish (14) Church (9,14) of Saint-Germain, (9) in Saint Germain-en-Laye. (8,14) [OR] His body was laid in a coffin (17) at the Chapel of Saint Edmund in the Church of the English Benedictines in the Rue St. Jacques in Paris. (14,17) His heart was put in a silver locket, (13) his brain was put in a casket (13,17) [OR] bronze urn (17) (and given to Scots College), (13,17) and his entrails were halved and put in separate urns in separate locations. (13) Some lucky English nuns were also given the flesh of his right arm. (13) In 1734, the Archbishop of Paris heard evidence to support James’s canonisation, but nothing came of it. (19) Lights were kept burning round his coffin until the French Revolution. (19) but then, (17) in October 1793, the Chapel of Saint Edmund and all the English Benedictines’ buildings were destroyed by a mob along with the remains of King James II. (14) His body was desecrated (17) and the remains were lost. (14,17) His viscera were rediscovered and reburied in 1824 at the Parish Church of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. (14) In 1855, Queen Victoria paid for a memorial to James at the Parish Church of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. (14)

Jacobitism

His daughter Anne who had also been raised as a Protestant, (8) became Queen in 1702 (8,19) when William died. (19) The Act of Settlement provided that, if the line of succession established in the Bill of Rights were extinguished, the crown would go to a German cousin, Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and to her Protestant heirs. (19) Sophia was a granddaughter of James VI and I through his eldest daughter, Elizabeth Stuart, the sister of Charles I. (19) Thus, when Anne died in 1714 (less than two months after the death of Sophia), she was succeeded by George I, Sophia’s son, the Elector of Hanover and Anne’s second cousin. (19) Rebellions were raised, and titles pressed by several of James’s descendants (13,15) and supporters (called ‘Jacobites’). (15) His son James Francis Edward (4,6) Stuart (4,8) became the ‘Old Pretender’ of the Jacobite cause, (7,8) and Louis XIV of France recognized him as the King of England after his father. (13) James Francis Edward Stuart [OR] his grandson Charles (Bonnie Prince Charlie) (8,15) made an unsuccessful attempt to restore the Jacobite throne in 1715 (8,15) and his male heirs tried until the middle of the eighteenth century to destabilize British politics. (15) The grandson of James II, Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie, or the Young Pretender), made a similar grab for power (15) in 1745) (8,15) but the cause was largely lost. (13) Neither James, his son, nor his grandson played heroic roles in these failed coups. (15) Rather, all three fled back to France after botched invasions, leaving their supporters to pay the piper. (15) It might be said that the most lasting of James’s incursions into Virginia history were these captive relicts of the Stuart rebellions of ‘the Fifteen’ and ‘the Forty-Five’ who were shipped as indentured servants to the Chesapeake. (15) There they helped swell the tide of a Scots and Scots-Irish immigration that would, ironically, further weaken the colony’s loyalty to the mother country, its monarchy, and its church. (15)

Historiography

Whig Interpretation: the Catholic Tyrant

Aubrey called James “that lamentable monarch” (20) but his motives are much disputed. (15) Since the Declaration of Rights of 1689 charged him with attempting to ‘subvert and extirpate the Protestant religion and the laws and liberties of the kingdom,’ James II has traditionally been treated as a would-be tyrant by older historians. (7) The Glorious Revolution of 1688 was the ideological parent of the American Revolution of 1776—no lesser students of history than Thomas Jefferson and John Adams saw things that way. (15) But if James II’s failure as a king has long been clear (13,15) on both sides of the Atlantic, (15) The great Whig historians of the nineteenth century, notably Thomas Babington Macaulay, held that James aimed from the first to emulate the absolutism practiced by Louis XIV of France. (15) This view survives, although it is now generally acknowledged that James was never as much of a French sycophant as his brother. (15)

Revision

New perspectives have emerged. (15) Macaulay wrote in the Whig tradition. (19) Historical analysis of James II has been somewhat revised since Whig historians, led by Lord Macaulay, cast James as a cruel absolutist and his reign as ‘tyranny which approached to insanity’. (19) Subsequent scholars, such as G. M. Trevelyan (Macaulay’s great-nephew) and David Ogg, while more balanced than Macaulay, still characterised James as a tyrant, his attempts at religious tolerance as a fraud, and his reign as an aberration in the course of British history. (19) In 1892, A. W. Ward wrote for the Dictionary of National Biography that James was ‘obviously a political and religious bigot’, although never devoid of ‘a vein of patriotic sentiment’; ‘his conversion to the church of Rome made the emancipation of his fellow-Catholics in the first instance, and the recovery of England for Catholicism in the second, the governing objects of his policy.’ (19) Hilaire Belloc, a writer and Catholic apologist, was a notable apologist for James II. (19) He broke with the Whig tradition in 1928, casting James as an honourable man and a true advocate for freedom of conscience, and his enemies ‘men in the small clique of great fortunes … which destroyed the ancient monarchy of the English’. (19) However, he observed that James ‘concluded the Catholic church to be the sole authoritative voice on earth, and thenceforward … he not only stood firm against surrender but on no single occasion contemplated the least compromise or by a word would modify the impression made. (19)An interesting sidelight of early modern historiography is the role scholars give to public opinion in the 1680s, first in securing James’s popularity, then in forcing him into foolishness, and finally in condemning him to defeat by not rising to his defence. (15) Miller’s scholarship has enjoyed great influence, but there is no doubt that a majority of James’s countrymen did not draw sharp distinctions between absolutism and Catholicism. (15) To most politically aware Englishmen, these political and religious leanings were identities, a view confirmed by James’s actions as king. (15) When James’s Catholic queen, Mary of Modena, birthed a male heir in 1688—dashing hopes of a ‘natural’ Protestant succession to James’s daughter Mary—and as James went on the warpath against the Anglican bishops who refused to publish the Declaration of Indulgence, a knot of seven politicians invited Mary’s husband (and James’s nephew), Prince William of Orange, to come to England and put things right. (15) These seven were not a Whig cabal, for they included the staunchest Tory of all in the earl of Danby, who had been Charles II’s chief minister. (15) Together, they were powerful enough to speak to others and representative enough to speak for others. (15) Prince William accepted their invitation—indeed, he had been angling for it—and Parliament, the Royal Navy, and the English army waited to see what would happen instead of rushing to defend the realm against what was, after all, a Dutch invasion. (15) Even so, loyalty to the hereditary succession was still strong, and, had James stood his ground, things might have turned out differently. (15) Instead, he panicked, threw the great seal into the tidal mud of the Thames, and fled. (15) The Lords and Commons assembled were thus enabled to call James’s actions an abdication and invite William and Mary to take up an empty throne, which, in the Revolution settlement of 1688–1689, was made safely Protestant and not quite so safely constitutional. (15) Most notably, in his Popery and Politics in England (1973), the historian John Miller emphasizes instead the critical importance of James II’s desire to make England safe for Roman Catholics. (15) James II did not aim for absolutism but was forced into it: only as avenues to his religious goals were closed off (by Parliament, by the Church of England, by England’s universities) did he recklessly employ the royal prerogative to gain his ends. (15)

Incompetent

His graceless flight of 1688 and his comprehensive success in squandering the assets he enjoyed at his accession in 1685 have strengthened a third school of thought about this most unhappy monarch. (15) His failures were more personal than political (7,15) because he was astoundingly and irremediably inept. (15) This seems to have been the view of Louis XIV, and is espoused more recently by John Callow in The Making of King James II: The Formative Years of a Fallen King (2000). (15)

Advocate of Religious Toleration:

By the 1960s and 1970s, Maurice Ashley and Stuart Prall began to reconsider James’s motives in granting religious toleration, while still taking note of James’s autocratic rule. (19) Modern historians have moved away from the school of thought that preached the continuous march of progress and democracy, Ashley contending that ‘history is, after all, the story of human beings and individuals, as well as of the classes and the masses.’ (19) He cast James II and William III as ‘men of ideals as well as human weaknesses’. (19) John Miller, writing in 2000, accepted the claims of James’s absolutism, but argued that ‘his main concern was to secure religious liberty and civil equality for Catholics. (19) Any ‘absolutist’ methods … were essentially means to that end.’ (19) In 2004, W. A. Speck wrote in the new Oxford Dictionary of National Biography that ‘James was genuinely committed to religious toleration, but also sought to increase the power of the crown.’ (19) He added that, unlike the government of the Netherlands,

James was too autocratic to combine freedom of conscience with popular government. He resisted any check on the monarch’s power. That is why his heart was not in the concessions he had to make in 1688. He would rather live in exile with his principles intact than continue to reign as a limited monarch.’ (19)

Syntheses

Tim Harris’s conclusions from his 2006 book summarised the ambivalence of modern scholarship towards James II: The jury will doubtless remain out on James for a long time … Was he an egotistical bigot … a tyrant who rode roughshod over the will of the vast majority of his subjects (at least in England and Scotland) … or simply naïve, or even perhaps plain stupid, unable to appreciate the realities of political power… Or was he a well-intentioned and even enlightened ruler—an enlightened despot well ahead of his time, perhaps—who was merely trying to do what he thought was best for his subjects? In 2009, Steven Pincus confronted that scholarly ambivalence in 1688: The First Modern Revolution. (19) Pincus claims that James’s reign must be understood within a context of economic change and European politics, and makes two major assertions about James II. (19) The first of these is that James purposefully ‘followed the French Sun King, Louis XIV, in trying to create a modern Catholic polity. (19) This involved not only trying to Catholicize England … but also creating a modern, centralizing, and extremely bureaucratic state apparatus.’ (19) The second is that James was undone in 1688 far less by Protestant reaction against Catholicization than by nationwide hostile reaction against his intrusive bureaucratic state and taxation apparatus, expressed in massive popular support for William of Orange’s armed invasion of England. (19) Pincus presents James as neither naïve nor stupid nor egotistical. (19) Instead, readers are shown an intelligent, clear-thinking strategically motivated monarch whose vision for a French authoritarian political model and alliance clashed with, and lost out to, alternative views that favoured an entrepreneurial Dutch economic model, feared French power, and were outraged by James’s authoritarianism. (19) Scott Sowerby countered Pincus’s thesis in 2013 in Making Toleration: The Repealers and the Glorious Revolution. (19) He noted that English taxes remained low during James II’s reign, at about 4% of the English national income, and thus it was unlikely that James could have built a bureaucratic state on the model of Louis XIV’s France, where taxes were at least twice as high as a proportion of GDP. (19) Sowerby also contends that James’s policies of religious toleration attracted substantial support from religious nonconformists, including Quakers, Baptists, Congregationalists and Presbyterians, who were attracted by the king’s push for a new ‘Magna Carta for liberty of conscience’. (19) The king was overthrown, in Sowerby’s view, largely because of fears among the Dutch and English elites that James might be aligning himself with Louis XIV in a supposed ‘holy league’ to destroy Protestantism across northern Europe. (19) Sowerby presents James’s reign as a struggle between those who believed that the king was sincerely devoted to liberty of conscience and those who were sceptical of the king’s espousals of toleration and believed that he had a hidden agenda to overthrow English Protestantism. (19)

Bibliographical notes

Some references taken from my piece on Harvey in www.historybynicklin.com They are indicated by a simple ‘(H)’ if they were not corroborated there, and ‘(2xH)’ if they were. Books 17, 18 and 19 have identical passages, and corroboration between these not allowed.

Bibliography

James ll Bibiiography

21. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_Sedley,_Countess_of_Dorchester

FRESCI

Foreign and Military

Military Training; Edgehill; exile; Service in French and Spanish Armies; Battle of Dunes; command of the Fleet at Battle of Lowestoft; Army reforms with Catholic officers; Suspects Dutch help for Monmouth & Argyll, 1685; Catholic officers; ‘Immortal Seven’ refuses French help in 1689; desertion by forces in 1689; Assisted by Louis XIV re Ireland; Poor leadership leading to Battle of Boyne. Abandoned by Louis XIV at Treaty of Ryswick 1697.

Religion and Ideas

Anglican but Catholic mother; date of his conversion much disputed; Liked RC in France and Spain; upset by division between Catholic powers France and Spain in 30 Years’ War; Test Act; conversion to Catholicism becomes known; Marriage to M of Modena; Papal Nuncio and Confessor; As very papist as the pope himself’; Fellows of Magdalen; Declarations of Indulgence; 7 Bishops’ acquittal;

Economics

Largest ever parliamentary grant 1683;

Social/Cultural

Married a commoner & played with his children; interested in Avebury;

Constitutional

Divine Right; Test Act; packing Parliament; suspending and dispensing; Godden v Hales; 7 bishops;

Individual Random

Escape disguised as woman; brave soldier; Henpecked by Anne Hyde; philandering ‘greatest ogler’; Arabella Stuart and Catherine Sedley; ‘his formal and humourless nature more congenial to the Anglicans than Charles’s slippery geniality’; Popish Plot; Rye House Plot; Coronation mishaps; Judge Jeffreys; warming pan baby; Great Seal in Thames; ‘James the Shit’; ‘Dismal Jimmy’; dotage.

1 sic

2 Sic!

3 Suggesting that he had already converted!

4 James, obvs!

5 Who was not yet dead!

6 Which he did not encounter until he went to France, long after his education was finished.

7 Book 18 contradicts itself:time in France had exposed him to the beliefs and ceremonies of Catholicism; he and his wife, Anne, became drawn to that faith.’ – ‘He became friendly with two Irish Catholic brothers in the Royalist entourage in Spain’.

8 Although Elizabeth told the Spanish ambassador that she was ‘as good a Catholic as he was’.

9 Identical phrasing in 18 not allowed as corroboration

10 Identical wording in 18 not allowed.

11 (8) says it preceded the birth

12 He was both

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close