The GLORIOUS REVOLUTION, also called the REVOLUTION OF 1688, was the
overthrow of King
James II of England
James II of England (James VII of Scotland) by a
union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William
III, Prince of Orange . William's successful invasion of England with
a Dutch fleet and army led to his ascension to the throne as William
III of England jointly with his wife, Mary II , James's daughter,
after the Declaration of Right , leading to the
Bill of Rights 1689
Bill of Rights 1689 .
King James's policies of religious tolerance after 1685 met with
increasing opposition from members of leading political circles, who
were troubled by the king's
Catholicism and his close ties with
France. The crisis facing the king came to a head in 1688, with the
birth of the king's son,
James Francis Edward Stuart , on 10 June
(Julian calendar). This changed the existing line of succession by
displacing the heir presumptive (his daughter Mary, a Protestant and
the wife of William of Orange) with young James Francis Edward as heir
apparent . The establishment of a Roman Catholic dynasty in the
kingdoms now seemed likely. Some
Tory members of parliament worked
with members of the opposition Whigs in an attempt to resolve the
crisis by secretly initiating dialogue with William of Orange to come
to England, outside the jurisdiction of the English Parliament.
Stadtholder William, the de facto head of state of the Dutch United
Provinces , feared a Catholic Anglo–French alliance and had already
been planning a military intervention in England.
After consolidating political and financial support, William crossed
North Sea and
English Channel with a large invasion fleet in
November 1688, landing at
Torbay . After only two minor clashes
between the two opposing armies in England, and anti-Catholic riots in
several towns, James's regime collapsed, largely because of a lack of
resolve shown by the king. However, this was followed by the
Williamite War in Ireland
Williamite War in Ireland and Dundee\'s rising in Scotland.
In England's distant American colonies, the revolution led to the
collapse of the
Dominion of New England and the overthrow of the
Province of Maryland 's government. Following a defeat of his forces
at the Battle of Reading on 9 December, James and his wife Mary fled
England; James, however, returned to London for a two-week period that
culminated in his final departure for France on 23 December. By
threatening to withdraw his troops, William in February 1689 (New
Style Julian calendar) convinced a newly chosen Convention Parliament
to make him and his wife joint monarchs .
The Revolution permanently ended any chance of
re-established in England . For British Catholics its effects were
disastrous both socially and politically: Catholics were denied the
right to vote and sit in the Westminster Parliament for over a
century; they were also denied commissions in the army , and the
monarch was forbidden to be Catholic or to marry a Catholic , this
latter prohibition remaining in force until 2015 . The Revolution led
to limited tolerance for
Nonconformist Protestants, although it would
be some time before they had full political rights . It has been
argued, mainly by
Whig historians , that James's overthrow began
modern English parliamentary democracy: the
Bill of Rights 1689
Bill of Rights 1689 has
become one of the most important documents in the political history of
Britain and never since has the monarch held absolute power.
Internationally, the Revolution was related to the War of the Grand
Alliance on mainland Europe . It has been seen as the last successful
invasion of England. It ended all attempts by England in the
Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th century to subdue the
Dutch Republic by
military force. However, the resulting economic integration and
military co-operation between the English and Dutch navies shifted the
dominance in world trade from the
Dutch Republic to England and later
to Great Britain .
The expression "Glorious Revolution" was first used by John Hampden
in late 1689, and is an expression that is still used by the British
Parliament . The
Glorious Revolution is also occasionally termed the
BLOODLESS REVOLUTION, albeit inaccurately. The
English Civil War
English Civil War (also
known as the Great Rebellion) was still within living memory for most
of the major English participants in the events of 1688, and for them,
in comparison to that war (or even the
Monmouth Rebellion of 1685) the
deaths in the conflict of 1688 were mercifully few.
* 1 Background
* 2 Conspiracy
* 2.1 William seeks English commitment to an invasion
* 2.2 Military and financial support
* 2.3 The final decision to invade is taken
* 3.1 Embarkation of the army and the Declaration of
* 3.2 English naval strategy
* 3.3 Crossing and landing
* 3.4 William consolidates his position
* 4 The collapse of James\'s rule
* 4.1 Departure of King and Queen
* 5 William and Mary made joint monarchs
* 5.1 The Bill of Rights
* 5.2 The other kingdoms
* 6 Jacobite uprisings
* 7 Anglo-Dutch alliance
* 7.1 The decline of the
* 8 Revolution or invasion?
* 8.1 World empire or merchant economy?
* 9 Legacy
* 10 See also
* 11 Notes
* 12 References
* 13 Further reading
* 14 External links
James II would they assist candidates who would do so; and they
were requested to accept the Declaration of Indulgence. In December it
was announced that all the offices of deputy lieutenants and Justices
of the Peace would be revised. Therefore, during the first three
months of 1688, hundreds of those who gave hostile replies to the
three questions asked were dismissed. More far-reaching purges were
applied to the towns: in November a regulating committee was founded
to operate the purges. Corporations were purged by agents given wide
discretionary powers in an attempt to create a permanent royal
electoral machine. Finally, on 24 August 1688, James ordered writs
to be issued for a general election.
James also created a large standing army and employed Catholics in
positions of power within it. To his opponents in Parliament this
seemed like a prelude to arbitrary rule, so James prorogued Parliament
without gaining Parliament's consent. At this time, the English
regiments of the army were encamped at
Hounslow , near the capital. It
was feared that the location was intended to overawe the City. The
army in Ireland was purged of Protestants, who were replaced with
Catholics, and by 1688 James had more than 34,000 men under arms in
his three kingdoms. Group portrait of the
Seven Bishops whom
James ordered imprisoned in the
Tower of London
Tower of London in 1688, but who were
acquitted of charges of seditious libel .
In April 1688, James re-issued the
Declaration of Indulgence and
ordered all clergymen to read it in their churches. When the
Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury ,
William Sancroft , and six other bishops
Seven Bishops ) wrote to James asking him to reconsider his
policies, they were arrested on charges of seditious libel , but at
trial they were acquitted to the cheers of the London crowd.
Matters came to a head in June 1688, when the King had a son, James ;
until then, the throne would have passed to his Protestant daughter,
Mary. The prospect of a Catholic dynasty in the kingdoms of England ,
Scotland and Ireland was now likely.
William III, King of England,
Scotland and Ireland, stadtholder
of Guelders, Holland, Zealand, Utrecht and Overijssel
Mary had a husband, her cousin William Henry of Orange . Both were
Protestants and grandchildren of
Charles I of England
Charles I of England . Before the
birth of James's son on 10 June, William had been third in the line
of succession. However, there was a strong faction at the English
court, headed by
Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland
Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland , proposing
that Mary and William, because of their anti-Catholic position, should
be replaced by some Catholic French heir.
William was also stadtholder of the main provinces of the Dutch
Republic , then in the preliminary stages of joining the War of the
Grand Alliance against France, in a context of international tensions
caused by the revocation by
Louis XIV of the
Edict of Nantes and the
disputed succession of Cologne and the
Electorate of the Palatinate .
William had already acquired the reputation of being the main champion
in Europe of the Protestant cause against
Catholicism and French
absolutism; in the developing English crisis he saw an opportunity to
prevent an Anglo-French alliance and bring England to the anti-French
side, by carrying out a military intervention directed against James.
This suited the desires of several English politicians who intended to
depose James. It is still a matter of debate whether the initiative
for the conspiracy was taken by the English or by the stadtholder and
his wife. William had been trying to influence English politics for
well over a year, letting
Gaspar Fagel publish an
open letter to the
English people in November 1687 deploring the
religious policy of James, which action had generally been interpreted
as a covert bid for kingship.
Since he had become king the relationship between James and his
nephew and son-in-law had gradually deteriorated. At first William
welcomed the promise of a less pro-French policy. In 1685 he sent the
Scottish and English mercenary regiments of his army to England to
assist in putting down the
Monmouth Rebellion . Soon however, James's
policy of religious tolerance caused tensions to rise between them.
William assumed it was but the first step towards a total
re-Catholicisation of England and was unable to explain how James
could hope to achieve this goal unless he had concluded a secret
alliance with France. James's refusal to enter any anti-French
coalition and his efforts to reorganise the
Royal Navy increased
William's suspicions. In the previous years the French navy had grown
significantly in strength and the
Dutch Republic would no longer be
able to resist a combined Anglo-French attack. William feared that
even English neutrality would not suffice and that control over the
Royal Navy was a prerequisite for a successful naval campaign against
In November 1686 James had wished to gain William's support for the
repeal of the
Test Acts , as this would have delivered a blow to the
English opposition. The Quaker
William Penn was sent to
The Hague but
William opposed repeal. William's envoy Everhard van Weede Dijkvelt
visited England between February and May 1687 (N.S.), instructed to
persuade James to help contain French aggression. William also
instructed Dijkvelt to let it be known that he would support the
Church of England; that he was not a Presbyterian; to persuade the
Dissenters not to support James and to reassure moderate Catholics.
After having been assured by James that all rumours about a French
alliance were malevolent fabrications, Dijkvelt returned to the
Republic, with letters of varying importance from leading English
statesmen. James tried again to gain William's support but William
responded by advising James to keep to the law and not try to extend
his prerogative powers. In August 1687 Count William Nassau de
Zuylestein was sent to England, ostensibly to send condolences due to
the death of the queen's mother. Zuylestein was sent in part to see
how successful, or amenable, James's packed Parliament would be, and
have discussions with English statesmen, with Zuylestein sending
letters from them back to William.
The correspondence between William and the English politicians was,
at first, sent by ordinary post to genuine addresses in either country
and then distributed. Devices were used such as ending a postscript
with "etc." which meant spaces were actually written in white or
invisible ink. However, as conspiracy neared completion in 1688, the
English government sometimes used to disrupt this correspondence by
holding up the whole mail delivery system. Another way was used to
keep this clandestine correspondence flowing: letters were sent in
merchant ships between London and
Amsterdam or Rotterdam, with outward
bound letters often put on board below Gravesend, as this would be
after the final customs clearance. Also, couriers for the purpose were
sometimes used and all Dutch diplomats travelling to and from either
country carried the correspondence. Shortly before the invasion, when
fast delivery and secrecy was essential, fast yachts and small vessels
were used for special courier services. The English government
intercepted very few of these means of communication. Henry
Sydney , author of the
Invitation to William , which was signed by six
noblemen (both Whigs and Tories) and one bishop. He has been described
as "the great wheel on which the Revolution rolled".
It has been suggested that the crisis caused by the prospect of a new
Catholic heir made William decide to invade the next summer as early
as November 1687, but this is disputed. It is certain however that in
April 1688, when France and England concluded a naval agreement
stipulating that the French would finance an English squadron in The
Channel, which seemed to be the beginning of a formal alliance, he
seriously began to prepare for a military intervention and seek
political and financial support for such an undertaking.
WILLIAM SEEKS ENGLISH COMMITMENT TO AN INVASION
William laid careful plans over a number of months for an invasion,
which he hoped to execute in September 1688. William would not invade
England without assurances of English support, and so in April, he
asked for a formal invitation to be issued by a group of leading
Gilbert Burnet recorded a conversation at the end
of April between William and Admiral Edward Russell :
So Russell put the Prince to explain himself what he intended to do.
The Prince answered, that, if he was invited by some men of the best
interest, and the most valued in the nation, who should both in their
own name, and in the name of others who trusted them, invite him to
come and rescue the nation and the religion, he believed he could be
ready by the end of September to come over. — Gilbert Burnet.
In May, Russell told William that the English opposition to James
would not wait any longer for help and they would rise against James
in any event. William feared that if he did not now head the
conspiracy the English would set up a republic, even more inimical to
the Dutch state. In June, William sent Count Zuylestein to England,
ostensibly to congratulate James on the birth of the Prince of Wales
but in reality to communicate with William's associates.
Only after the Prince of Wales had been born in June, however, and
many suspected he was supposititious , did the Immortal Seven (who
consisted of one bishop and six nobles) decide to comply, with the
letter to William dated 18 June (Julian calendar), reaching him in
The Hague on 30 June, and dispatched by Rear Admiral Herbert ,
disguised as a common sailor. The Seven consisted of Lord Shrewsbury ,
Lord Devonshire , Lord Danby , Lord Lumley , Henry Compton, Edward
Russell, and Henry Sidney . The invitation declared:
We have great reason to believe, we shall be every day in a worse
condition than we are, and less able to defend ourselves, and
therefore we do earnestly wish we might be so happy as to find a
remedy before it be too late for us to contribute to our own
deliverance ... the people are so generally dissatisfied with the
present conduct of the government, in relation to their religion,
liberties and properties (all which have been greatly invaded), and
they are in such expectation of their prospects being daily worse,
that your Highness may be assured, there are nineteen parts of twenty
of the people throughout the kingdom, who are desirous of a change;
and who, we believe, would willingly contribute to it, if they had
such a protection to countenance their rising, as would secure them
from being destroyed. — invitation by The Seven.
The Seven went on to claim that "much the greatest part of the
nobility and gentry" were dissatisfied and would rally to William, and
that James's army "would be very much divided among themselves; many
of the officers being so discontented that they continue in their
service only for a subsistence ... and very many of the common
soldiers do daily shew such an aversion to the Popish religion, that
there is the greatest probability imaginable of great numbers of
deserters ... and amongst the seamen, it is almost certain, there is
not one in ten who would do them any service in such a war". The
Seven believed that the situation would be much worse before another
year due to James's plans to remodel the army by the means of a packed
Parliament or, should the parliamentary route fail, through violent
means which would "prevent all possible means of relieving ourselves".
The Seven also promised to rally to William upon his landing in
England and would "do all that lies in our power to prepare others to
be in as much readiness as such an action is capable of".
Meanwhile, William's confidante Willem Bentinck launched a propaganda
campaign in England. In the numerous pamphlets distributed, William
was presented in the best possible light; as a true Stuart yet
blessedly free from the usual Stuart vices of cryptocatholicism,
absolutism, and debauchery. Much of the later "spontaneous" support
for William had been carefully organised by Bentinck and his agents.
In August, it became clear that William had surprisingly strong
support within the English army, a situation brought about by James
himself. In January 1688 he had forbidden any of his subjects to serve
the Dutch and had demanded that the Republic dissolve its six
mercenary Scottish and English regiments. When this was refused, he
asked that at least those willing would be released from their martial
oath to be free to return to Britain. To this William consented as it
would purify his army of Jacobite elements. In total 104 officers and
44 soldiers returned. The officers were enlisted within the British
armies and so favoured that the established officer corps began to
fear for its position. On 14 August Lord Churchill wrote to William:
"I owe it to God and my country to put my honour into the hands of
Your Highness". Nothing comparable happened within the Royal Navy,
however; claims after the event by certain captains that they had
somehow prevented the English fleet from engaging seem to have been
little more than attempts at self-aggrandisement.
MILITARY AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT
For William the English problem was inextricably intertwined with the
situation in Germany. Only if the attention of
Louis XIV was directed
to the east, could William hope to intervene in England without French
interference. For this it was essential that
opposing the French demands regarding Cologne and the Palatinate. In
May, William sent an envoy, Johann von Görtz, privy councillor of
Hesse-Cassel , to
Vienna to ensure secretly the support of the Holy
Roman Emperor , Leopold I . Learning that William promised not to
persecute the Catholics in England, the emperor approved of the
expedition, promising in turn to try making peace with the Ottoman
Empire to free his forces for a campaign in the West; on 4 September
1688 he would join an alliance with the Republic against France. The
Duke of Hanover , Ernest Augustus , and the Elector of Saxony , John
George III , assured William that they would remain neutral, though it
had been feared they would take the French side.
The next concern was to assemble a powerful invasion force –
contrary to the wishes of the English conspirators, who predicted that
a token force would be sufficient. For this William needed funding by
the city of
Amsterdam , then the world's main financial centre . In
Amsterdam had been strongly pro-French, often forcing
William to moderate his policies, but a tariff war waged by Louis from
1687 against the Republic and French import limitations on herring , a
major Dutch export, had outraged the wealthy merchants. Nevertheless,
only after secret and difficult negotiations by Bentinck with the
Amsterdam burgomasters during June could 260 transports be
hired. Additionally, the burghers were uneasy about the prospect of
denuding their homeland of its defences by sending the field army –
roughly half of the total peace-time strength of the Dutch States Army
of about 30,000 – overseas. Bentinck, who had already been sent in
Brandenburg to recruit, but without much result, therefore
negotiated contracts from 20 July (Gregorian calendar) for 13,616
German mercenaries from Brandenburg,
Württemberg , Hesse-Cassel, and
Celle to man Dutch border fortresses in order to free an equal number
of Dutch elite mercenary troops for use against England. As the Dutch
would typically double or triple their total army strength in wartime,
the numbers were low enough to be explained as a limited precaution
against French aggression. Shortly afterwards, Marshal Frederick
Schomberg was instructed by William to prepare for a Western campaign.
Francisco Lopes Suasso
Francisco Lopes Suasso , who partly financed the invasion
Further financial support was obtained from the most disparate
sources: the Jewish banker
Francisco Lopes Suasso
Francisco Lopes Suasso lent two million
guilders; when asked what security he desired, Suasso answered: "If
you are victorious, you will surely repay me; if not, the loss is
Pope Innocent XI
Pope Innocent XI , an inveterate enemy of
Louis XIV of
France, provided a loan to William, though a relation with the
invasion has been denied. Total costs were seven million guilders,
four million of which would ultimately be paid for by a state loan. In
the summer the Dutch navy was expanded to 9000 sailors on the pretext
of fighting the
Dunkirkers . The standard summer equipment of twenty
warships was secretly doubled. On 13 July 1688 (Gregorian calendar) it
was decided to build 21 new warships.
THE FINAL DECISION TO INVADE IS TAKEN
Despite all the preparations, William had great trouble convincing
the Dutch class of city and provincial rulers, the regents , that such
an expensive expedition was really necessary. Also, he personally
feared that the French might attack the Republic through
its army was tied up in England. One of the "Seven", Lord Danby,
suggested postponing the invasion until the following year. By early
September, William was on the brink of cancelling the entire
expedition when French policy played into his hand.
In Germany, matters had come to a head. The Pope had refused to
confirm Louis's favourite candidate for the bishopric of Cologne ,
William Egon of Fürstenberg
William Egon of Fürstenberg . Enraged, the French king decided to
execute a lightning campaign into Germany before the emperor could
shift his troops to the West. Louis also hoped to keep his Turkish
ally in the war this way. For the immediate future James had to hold
his own, something Louis expected him to be quite capable of,
especially if the Dutch were intimidated. On 9 September (Gregorian
calendar) the French envoy Jean Antoine de Mesmes , the Comte d'Avaux,
handed two letters from the French king, who had known of the invasion
plans since May, to the
States General of the Netherlands . In the
first they were warned not to attack James. In the second they were
advised not to interfere with the French policy in Germany. James
hurriedly distanced himself from the first message, trying to convince
the States General that there was no secret Anglo-French alliance
against them. This however, had precisely the opposite effect: many
members became extremely suspicious. The second message proved that
the main French effort was directed to the east, not the north, so
there was no immediate danger of a French invasion for the Republic
From 22 September,
Louis XIV seized all Dutch ships present in
French ports, totalling about a hundred vessels, apparently proving
that real war with France was imminent, though Louis had meant it to
be a mere warning. On 26 September the powerful city council of
Amsterdam decided to officially support the invasion. On 27 September
Louis crossed the Rhine into Germany to attack
William began to move the Dutch field army from the eastern borders,
where it had trained on the Mookerheide , to the coast, even though
most of the new mercenaries had not yet arrived.
On 29 September the
States of Holland
States of Holland , the government of the most
important Dutch province, fearing a French-English alliance, gathered
in secret session and approved the operation, agreeing to make the
English "King and Nation live in a good relation, and useful to their
friends and allies, and especially to this State". They accepted
William's argument that a preventive strike was necessary to avoid a
repeat of the events of 1672, when England and France had jointly
attacked the Republic , "an attempt to bring this state to its
ultimate ruin and subjugation, as soon as they find the occasion".
William denied any intention "to remove the King from the throne or
become master of England". The States ordered a Dutch fleet of 53
warships to escort the troop transports. This fleet was in fact
commanded by Lieutenant-Admiral
Cornelis Evertsen the Youngest on the
Cortgene and Vice-Admiral
Philips van Almonde on the Provincie Utrecht
but in consideration of English sensitivities placed, on 6 October,
under the nominal command of Rear-Admiral Herbert, who for the
occasion was appointed Lieutenant-Admiral-General, i.e. acting supreme
commander, of the Dutch navy. He sailed on the Leyden, accompanied by
Lieutenant-Admiral Willem Bastiaensz Schepers , the Rotterdam shipping
magnate who had organised the transport fleet. Though William was
himself Admiral-General of the Republic, he, as was usual, abstained
from operational command, sailing conspicuously on the new frigate Den
Briel. The States General allowed the core regiments of the Dutch
field army to participate under command of Marshall Schomberg. Despite
being assisted in it by the regular Dutch fleet and field army, his
attempt to change the situation in England was, as the States General
made explicit, officially a private family affair of William, merely
acting in his capacity of concerned nephew and son-in-law to James,
not an undertaking of the
Dutch Republic as such.
EMBARKATION OF THE ARMY AND THE DECLARATION OF THE HAGUE
Equestrian portrait of William III by
Jan Wyck , commemorating
the landing at Brixham, Torbay, 5 November 1688
The Dutch preparations, though carried out with great speed, could
not remain secret. The English envoy
Ignatius White , the Marquess
d'Albeville, warned his country: "an absolute conquest is intended
under the specious and ordinary pretences of religion, liberty,
property and a free Parliament ...".
Louis XIV threatened the Dutch
with an immediate declaration of war, should they carry out their
plans. Embarkations, started on 22 September (
Gregorian calendar ),
had been completed on 8 October, and the expedition was that day
openly approved by the States of Holland; the same day James issued a
proclamation to the English nation that it should prepare for a Dutch
invasion to ward off conquest. On 30 September/10 October (Julian
/Gregorian calendars ) William issued the Declaration of The Hague
(actually written by Fagel), of which 60,000 copies of the English
Gilbert Burnet were distributed after the landing in
England, in which he assured that his only aim was to maintain the
Protestant religion, install a free parliament and investigate the
legitimacy of the Prince of Wales. He would respect the position of
James. William declared:
It is both certain and evident to all men, that the public peace and
happiness of any state or kingdom cannot be preserved, where the Laws,
Liberties, and Customs, established by the lawful authority in it, are
openly transgressed and annulled; more especially where the alteration
of Religion is endeavoured, and that a religion, which is contrary to
law, is endeavoured to be introduced; upon which those who are most
immediately concerned in it are indispensably bound to endeavour to
preserve and maintain the established Laws, Liberties and customs,
and, above all, the Religion and Worship of God, that is established
among them; and to take such an effectual care, that the inhabitants
of the said state or kingdom may neither be deprived of their
Religion, nor of their Civil Rights. — William of Orange .
William went on to condemn James's advisers for overturning the
religion, laws, and liberties of England, Scotland, and Ireland by the
use of the suspending and dispensing power; the establishment of the
"manifestly illegal" commission for ecclesiastical causes and its use
to suspend the
Bishop of London and to remove the Fellows of Magdalen
College, Oxford . William also condemned James's attempt to repeal the
Test Acts and the penal laws through pressuring individuals and waging
an assault on parliamentary boroughs, as well as his purging of the
judiciary. James's attempt to pack Parliament was in danger of
removing "the last and great remedy for all those evils". "Therefore",
William continued, "we have thought fit to go over to England, and to
carry over with us a force sufficient, by the blessing of God, to
defend us from the violence of those evil Counsellors ... this our
Expedition is intended for no other design, but to have, a free and
lawful Parliament assembled as soon as is possible".
On 4/14 October William responded to the allegations by James in a
second declaration, denying any intention to become king or conquer
England. Whether he had any at that moment is still controversial.
The swiftness of the embarkations surprised all foreign observers.
Louis had in fact delayed his threats against the Dutch until early
September because he assumed it then would be too late in the season
to set the expedition in motion anyway, if their reaction proved
negative; typically such an enterprise would take at least some
months. Being ready after the last week of September / first week of
October would normally have meant that the Dutch could have profited
from the last spell of good weather, as the autumn storms tend to
begin in the third week of that month. This year they came early
however. For three weeks the invasion fleet was prevented by adverse
south-westerly gales from departing from the naval port of
Hellevoetsluis and Catholics all over the Netherlands and the British
kingdoms held prayer sessions that this "popish wind" might endure.
However, on 14/24 October it became the famous "
Protestant Wind " by
turning to the east.
ENGLISH NAVAL STRATEGY
James only in late August seriously began to consider the possibility
of a Dutch invasion and then overestimated the size of the naval force
the Dutch would bring against him. He assumed they would equip their
full battle fleet, which he himself would be unable to match for
financial reasons: in October about thirty English ships-of-the-line
had been assembled, all third rates or fourth rates , while heavier
vessels remained laid up. Fearing a surprise attack, he declined to
position this fleet at
The Downs , for striking into the southern
North Sea or the Channel the most convenient location, but also a very
vulnerable one. When Admiral
George Legge, 1st Baron Dartmouth
George Legge, 1st Baron Dartmouth decided
to place his fleet at the Gunfleet near the
Medway , in a rather
withdrawn location, James therefore merely suggested to bring the
fleet farther out, though he well understood it otherwise risked
becoming locked up in the
Thames estuary by the same easterly wind
that would allow the Dutch to cross. This was influenced by his belief
the Dutch might well attack France instead and his expectation that
they would first seek a naval victory before daring to invade – and
that it thus would be advantageous to refuse battle. Indeed, it had
originally been the Dutch intention to defeat the English first to
free the way for the transport fleet – though they too, to lower the
cost of the invasion, had not activated any heavier ships – but
because it was now so late in the season and conditions on board
deteriorated rapidly, they decided to sail in convoy and, if possible,
CROSSING AND LANDING
William boarding the Brill
On 16/26 October William boarded his ship, the Den Briel (Brill in
English). His standard was hoisted, displaying the arms of Nassau
quartered with those of England. The words Pro Religione et Libertate
("For Liberty and Religion"), the slogan of William's ancestor
William the Silent
William the Silent while leading the
Dutch Revolt against Catholic
Spain, were shown next to the
House of Orange
House of Orange 's motto , Je
maintiendrai ("I will maintain"). William's fleet, which with about
40,000 men aboard was roughly twice the size of the
Spanish Armada –
and assembled in a tenth of the time – consisted of 463 ships.
Among these were 49 warships of more than twenty cannon (eight could
count as third rates of 60–68 cannon, nine were frigates), 28
galliots , nine fireships , 76 fluyts to carry the soldiers, 120 small
transports to carry five thousand horses, about seventy supply vessels
and sixty fishing vessels serving as landing craft . Most of the
warships had been provided by the Admiralty of
Amsterdam . On 19/29
October William's fleet departed from Hellevoetsluis. The fleet was
approximately halfway between the Republic and England when the wind
changed to the northwest and a gale scattered the fleet, with the
Brill returning to
Hellevoetsluis on 21/31 October. Despite suffering
from sea-sickness William refused to go ashore and the fleet
reassembled, having lost only one ship that grounded, though about a
thousand crippled horses had been thrown into the sea. Press reports
were released that deliberately exaggerated the damage and claimed the
expedition would be postponed till the spring. English naval command
now considered to try blockading
Hellevoetsluis but decided against it
because it was feared that the English fleet would founder on the
Dutch coast, a dangerous lee shore for a blocking force, by the stormy
Taking advantage of a wind again turned to the east, resupplied and
re-equipped with new horses, the invasion fleet departed again on 1/11
November and sailed north in the direction of
Harwich where Bentinck
had a landing site prepared. The fleet changed course to the south
however when the wind turned more to the north; it has been suggested
that the initial move to the north was a feint and indeed James
diverted some of his forces in that direction. Thus they passed twice
in sight of the English fleet, which was unable to intercept because
of the adverse wind and an unfavourable tide. On 3/13 November the
invasion fleet entered the
English Channel through the Strait of Dover
in an enormous square formation, 25 ships deep, the right and left of
the fleet saluting Dover and Calais simultaneously, to show off its
size. The troops were lined up on deck, firing musket volleys, with
full colours flying and the military bands playing.
Rapin de Thoyras ,
who was on board one of the ships, described it as the most
magnificent and affecting spectacle that was ever seen by human eyes.
William intended to land at
Torbay but due to fog the fleet sailed
past it by mistake. The wind made a return impossible and
unsuitable as it had a garrison. At this point, with the English fleet
in pursuit, Russell told Burnet: "You may go to prayers, Doctor. All
is over". At that moment however the wind changed and the fog lifted,
enabling the fleet to sail into Torbay, near
Brixham , Devon. William
came ashore on 5/15 November. When Burnet was ashore he hastened to
William and eagerly enquired what William now intended to do. William
regarded the interference in military matters by non-military
personnel with disgust but he was in good humour at this moment and
responded with a delicate reproof: "Well, Doctor, what do you think of
predestination now?" The English squadron under Lord Dartmouth was
forced by the same change in wind to shelter in Portsmouth harbour.
During the next two days William's army disembarked in calm weather.
William brought over 11,212 horse and foot. William's cavalry and
dragoons amounted to 3,660. His artillery train contained 21
24-pounder cannon. Including the supply train, his force consisted of
about 15,000 men, compared to James's total forces of about 30,000.
He also brought 20,000 stand of arms to equip his English supporters.
The Dutch army was composed mostly of foreign mercenaries; there were
Dutch, Scots, English, German, Swiss, and Swedish regiments, even
Laplanders as well as "200 Blacks brought from the Plantations of
the Netherlands in America", thus from the colony of
Surinam . Many
of the mercenaries were Catholic. William had his personal guard
regiment with him, the
Dutch Blue Guards . In response to the threat
James had raised five new regiments of foot and five of horse, as well
as bringing in Scottish and Irish soldiers.
Louis XIV also sent James
The French fleet remained at the time concentrated in the
Mediterranean, to assist a possible attack on the
Papal State . Louis
delayed his declaration of war until 16/26 November hoping at first
that their involvement in a protracted
English civil war
English civil war would keep
the Dutch from interfering with his German campaign. The same day a
second attempt by Legge to attack the landing site again failed by an
adverse southwestern gale. The Dutch call their fleet action the
Glorieuze Overtocht, the "Glorious Crossing".
WILLIAM CONSOLIDATES HIS POSITION
William considered his veteran army to be sufficient in size to
defeat any forces (all rather inexperienced) which James could throw
against him, but it had been decided to avoid the hazards of battle
and maintain a defensive attitude in the hope James's position might
collapse by itself; thus he landed far away from James's army,
expecting that his English allies would take the initiative in acting
against James while he ensured his own protection against potential
attacks. William was prepared to wait; he had paid his troops in
advance for a three-month campaign. A slow advance, apart from being
necessitated by heavy rainfall anyway, had the added benefit of not
over-extending the supply lines; the Dutch troops were under strict
orders not even to forage, for fear that this would degenerate into
plundering which would alienate the population.
On 9 November (Julian calendar) William took
Exeter after the
magistrates had fled the city, entering on a white palfrey , with the
two hundred black men forming a guard of honour, dressed in white,
with turbans and feathers. In the South support from the local gentry
was disappointingly limited, but from 12 November, in the North, many
nobles began to declare for William, as they had promised, often by a
public reading of the Declaration. In
Yorkshire , printer John White
started to print the same document for a more widespread distribution.
However, in the first weeks most people carefully avoided taking
sides; as a whole the nation neither rallied behind its king, nor
welcomed William, but passively awaited the outcome of events. In
general, the mood was one of confusion, mutual distrust and
THE COLLAPSE OF JAMES\'S RULE
James refused a French offer to send an expeditionary force, fearing
that it would cost him domestic support. He tried to bring the Tories
to his side by making concessions but failed because he still refused
to endorse the Test Act. His forward forces had gathered at Salisbury
, and James went to join them on 19 November with his main force,
having a total strength of about 19,000. Amid anti-Catholic rioting in
London, it rapidly became apparent that the troops were not eager to
fight, and the loyalty of many of James' commanders was doubtful; he
had been informed of the conspiracy within the army as early as
September, but for unknown reasons had refused to arrest the officers
involved. Some have argued, however, that if James had been more
resolute, the army would have fought and fought well.
The first blood was shed at about this time in a skirmish at
Wincanton , Somerset, where
Royalist troops retreated after defeating
a small party of scouts; the total body count on both sides came to
about fifteen. In Salisbury, after hearing that some officers had
deserted, among them Lord Cornbury , a worried James was overcome by a
serious nose-bleed that he interpreted as an evil omen indicating that
he should order his army to retreat, which the supreme army commander,
the Earl of Feversham , also advised on 23 November. The next day,
Lord Churchill , one of James' chief commanders, deserted to William.
On 26 November, James's younger daughter, Anne , who doubted the
authenticity of her new brother, and who was greatly influenced by
Churchill's wife Sarah Churchill , did the same. Both were serious
losses. James returned to London that same day.
Meanwhile, on 18 November
Plymouth had surrendered to William, and on
21 November he began to advance. By 24 November, William's forces
Sherborne and on 1 December at Hindon . On 4 December he was
Amesbury , and was received by the mayor of
Salisbury ; three days
later they had reached
Hungerford , where the following day they met
with the King's Commissioners to negotiate. James offered free
elections and a general amnesty for the rebels. In reality, by that
point James was simply playing for time, having already decided to
flee the country. He feared that his English enemies would insist on
his execution and that William would give in to their demands.
Convinced that his army was unreliable, he sent orders to disband it.
On 9 December, the two sides fought a second engagement with the
Battle of Reading , a defeat for the King's men.
In December, there was anti-Catholic rioting in Bristol, Bury St.
Edmunds, Hereford, York, Cambridge, and Shropshire. On 9 December a
Protestant mob stormed
Dover Castle , where the Catholic Sir Edward
Hales was Governor, and seized it. On 8 December William met at last
with James's representatives; he agreed to James's proposals but also
demanded that all Catholics be immediately dismissed from state
functions and that England pay for the Dutch military expenses. He
received no reply, however.
DEPARTURE OF KING AND QUEEN
In the night of 9/10 December, the Queen and the Prince of Wales fled
for France. The next day saw James's attempt to escape, the King
dropping the Great Seal in the
Thames along the way, as no lawful
Parliament could be summoned without it. However, he was captured on
11 December by fishermen in
Sheerness , the town on
Isle of Sheppey
Isle of Sheppey . On the same day, 27
Lords Spiritual and Temporal
, forming a provisional government , decided to ask William to restore
order but at the same time asked the king to return to London to reach
an agreement with his son-in-law. On the night of 11 December there
were riots and lootings of the houses of Catholics and several foreign
embassies of Catholic countries in London. The following night a mass
panic gripped London during what was later termed the
Irish night .
False rumours of an impending Irish army attack on London circulated
in the capital, and a mob of over 100,000 assembled ready to defend
Upon returning to London on 16 December, James was welcomed by
cheering crowds. He took heart at this and attempted to recommence
government, even presiding over a meeting of the
Privy Council . He
sent the Earl of Feversham to William to arrange for a personal
meeting to continue negotiations. Now for the first time it became
evident that William had no longer any desire to keep James in power
in England. He was extremely dismayed by the arrival of Lord
Feversham. He refused the suggestion that he simply arrest James
because this would violate his own declarations and burden his
relationship with his wife. In the end it was decided that he should
exploit James's fears; the three original commissioners were sent back
to James with the message that William felt he could no longer
guarantee the king's well-being and that James for his own safety had
better leave London for Ham .
William at the same time ordered all English troops to depart from
the capital, while his forces entered on 17 December; no local forces
were allowed within a twenty-mile radius until the spring of 1690.
Already the English navy had declared for William. James, by his own
choice, went under Dutch protective guard to Rochester in Kent on 18
December, just as William entered London, cheered by crowds dressed in
orange ribbons or waving, lavishly distributed, oranges. The Dutch
officers had been ordered that "if he wanted to leave, they should
not prevent him, but allow him to gently slip through". James then
left for France on 23 December after having received a request from
his wife to join her, even though his followers urged him to stay. The
lax guard on James and the decision to allow him so near the coast
indicate that William may have hoped that a successful flight would
avoid the difficulty of deciding what to do with him, especially with
the memory of the execution of Charles I still strong. By fleeing,
James ultimately helped resolve the awkward question of whether he was
still the legal king or not, having created according to many a
situation of interregnum .
WILLIAM AND MARY MADE JOINT MONARCHS
William III and Mary II reigned together for five years. William
reigned on his own following Mary's death in 1694.
Part of a series of articles on
Divine right of kings
Mandate of Heaven
Mandate of Heaven
* Legalist (Chinese)
* Birth of the Roman Empire
* Foundation of the
* Glorious Revolution
First French Empire
First French Empire
Second French Empire
* German unification
5 October 1910 Revolution
5 October 1910 Revolution
* Proclamation of the Republic in Brazil
Siamese revolution of 1932
* Birth of the Italian Republic
Spanish transition to democracy
Spanish transition to democracy
Nepalese Civil War
Nepalese Civil War
On 28 December, William took over the provisional government by
appointment of the peers of the realm, as was the legal right of the
latter in circumstances when the king was incapacitated, and, on the
advice of his Whig allies, summoned an assembly of all the surviving
members of parliament of Charles II 's reign, thus sidelining the
Tories of the
Loyal Parliament of 1685. This assembly called for a
chosen English Convention Parliament , elected on 5 January 1689 NS ,
which convened on 22 January. William did not intervene in the
election that followed. This elected body consisted of 513 members,
341 of whom had been elected before, 238 having been members of at
Exclusion Bill Parliament , but only 193 having been elected
in 1685. The name "Convention" was chosen because only the king could
call a Parliament, although as William had been appointed de facto
regent by the peers the Convention could be argued to be, strictly
speaking, a lawful Parliament.
Although James had fled the country, he still had many followers, and
William feared that the king might return, relegating William to the
role of a mere regent, an outcome which was unacceptable to him. On 30
December, William, speaking to the Marquess of Halifax , threatened to
leave England "if King James came again" and determined to go back to
the Netherlands "if they went about to make him Regent".
The English Convention Parliament was very divided on the issue. The
radical Whigs in the Lower House proposed to elect William as a king
(meaning that his power would be derived from the people); the
moderates wanted an acclamation of William and Mary together; the
Tories wanted to make him regent or only acclaim Mary as queen. On 28
January a committee of the whole House of Commons promptly decided by
acclamation that James had broken "the original contract"; had
"abdicated the government"; and had left the throne "vacant". The
House of Lords wished to amend this, however, as many were still loyal
to James and believed in the Anglican doctrine of non-resistance. The
Lords rejected the proposal for a regency in James's name by 51 to 48
on 2 February. The Lords also substituted the word "abdicated" for
"deserted" and removed the "vacancy" clause. The Lords voted against
proclaiming William and Mary monarchs by 52 to 47. On 4 February the
Lords reaffirmed their amendments to the Commons's resolution by 55 to
51 and 54 to 53. On 5 February the Commons voted 282 to 151 for
maintaining the original wording of the resolution. The next day, the
two Houses entered into a conference but failed to resolve the matter.
William in private conversation (with Halifax, Danby, Shrewsbury, Lord
Winchester and Lord Mordaunt) made it clear that they could either
accept him as king or deal with the Whigs without his military
presence, for then he would leave for the Republic. But he let it be
known that he was happy for Mary to be nominal monarch and preference
in the succession given to Anne's children over his by a subsequent
marriage. Anne declared that she would temporarily waive her right to
the crown should Mary die before William, and Mary refused to be made
queen without William as king. The Lords on 6 February now accepted
the words "abdication" and "vacancy" and Lord Winchester's motion to
appoint William and Mary monarchs. Generally there was a great fear
that the situation might deteriorate into a civil war.
THE BILL OF RIGHTS
Bill of Rights 1689
Bill of Rights 1689
The proposal to draw up a statement of rights and liberties and
James's invasion of them was first made on 29 January in the Commons,
with members arguing that the House "can not answer it to the nation
or Prince of Orange till we declare what are the rights invaded" and
that William "cannot take it ill if we make conditions to secure
ourselves for the future" to "do justice to those who sent us hither".
On 2 February a committee specially convened reported to the Commons
23 Heads of Grievances, which the Commons approved and added some of
their own. However, on 4 February the Commons decided to instruct the
committee to differentiate between "such of the general heads, as are
introductory of new laws, from those that are declaratory of ancient
rights". On 7 February the Commons approved this revised Declaration
of Right, and on 8 February instructed the committee to put into a
single text the Declaration (with the heads which were "introductory
of new laws" removed), the resolution of 28 January and the Lords'
proposal for a revised oath of allegiance. It passed the Commons
The Declaration of Right was in December 1689 enacted in an Act of
Bill of Rights 1689
Bill of Rights 1689 . It listed twelve of James's
policies by which James designed to "endeavour to subvert and
extirpate the protestant religion, and the laws and liberties of this
kingdom". These were:
* by assuming and exercising a power of dispensing with and
suspending of laws;
* by prosecuting the Seven Bishops; by establishing of the court of
commissioners for ecclesiastical causes;
* by levying money for the crown by pretence of prerogative than the
same was granted by Parliament;
* by raising and maintaining a standing army in peacetime without
the consent of Parliament;
* by disarming Protestants and arming Catholics contrary to law;
* by violating the election of members to serve in Parliament;
* by prosecuting in the King's Bench for matters cognisable only in
Parliament and "divers other arbitrary and illegal courses";
* by employing unqualified persons to serve on juries;
* by requiring an excessive bail for persons committed in criminal
* by imposing excessive fines and "illegal and cruel punishments
* by making "several grants and promises made of fines and
forfeitures before any conviction or judgment against the person, upon
whom the same were to be levied".
The Bill of Rights also vindicated and asserted the nation's "ancient
rights and liberties" by declaring:
* the pretended power to dispense with or suspend Acts of Parliament
* the commission for ecclesiastical causes is illegal;
* levying money without the consent of Parliament is illegal;
* it is the right of the subject to petition the king and
prosecutions for petitioning are illegal;
* maintaining a standing army in peacetime without the consent of
Parliament is illegal;
* Protestant subjects "may have arms for their defence suitable to
their conditions, and allowed by law";
* the election of members of Parliament ought to be free;
* that freedom of speech and debates in Parliament "ought not to be
impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament";
* excessive bail and fines not required and "cruel and unusual
punishments " not to be inflicted;
* jurors in high treason trials ought to be freeholders;
* that promises of fines and forfeitures before conviction are
* that Parliament ought to be held frequently.
On 13 February the clerk of the House of Lords read the Declaration
of Right, and Halifax, in the name of all the estates of the realm,
asked William and Mary to accept the throne. William replied for his
wife and himself: "We thankfully accept what you have offered us".
They then went in procession to the great gate at Whitehall. The
Garter King at Arms proclaimed them King and Queen of England, France
and Ireland, whereupon they adjourned to the Chapel Royal, with
Compton preaching the sermon. They were crowned on 11 April, swearing
an oath to uphold the laws made by Parliament. The Coronation Oath Act
1688 had provided a new coronation oath, whereby the monarchs were to
"solemnly promise and swear to govern the people of this kingdom of
England, and the dominions thereunto belonging, according to the
statutes in parliament agreed on, and the laws and customs of the
same". They were also to maintain the laws of God, the true profession
of the Gospel, and the Protestant Reformed faith established by law.
THE OTHER KINGDOMS
Glorious Revolution in
Although their succession to the English throne was relatively
peaceful, much blood would be shed before William's authority was
accepted in Ireland and Scotland. In
Scotland there had been no
serious support for the rebellion; but, when James fled for France,
most members of the Scottish
Privy Council went to London to offer
their services to William. On 7 January they asked William to take
over the responsibilities of government. On 14 March a Scottish
Convention convened in
Edinburgh , dominated by the Presbyterians
because the episcopalians continued to support James. There was
nevertheless a Jacobite faction, but a letter by James received on 16
March, in which he threatened to punish all who rebelled against him,
resulted in his followers leaving the Convention, which then on 4
April decided that the throne of
Scotland was vacant. The Convention
formulated the Claim of Right and the Articles of Grievances. On 11
May William and Mary accepted the Crown of Scotland; after their
acceptance, the Claim and the Articles were read aloud, leading to an
immediate debate over whether or not an endorsement of these documents
was implicit in that acceptance.
In Ireland there was no equivalent of the English or Scottish
Convention and William had to conquer Ireland by force . The English
Convention presumed to legislate for Ireland as well, and the
Declaration of Right deemed William to be King of Ireland as well as
Williamite War in Ireland
Williamite War in Ireland and
Jacobite risings § The
rising of 1689–92
James had cultivated support on the fringes of his Three Kingdoms –
in Catholic Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland. Supporters of
James, known as Jacobites, were prepared to resist what they saw as an
illegal coup by force of arms. The first
Jacobite rebellion , an
uprising in support of James in Scotland, took place in 1689. It was
John Graham, 1st Viscount Dundee , also known as Graham of
Claverhouse or Bonnie Dundee, who raised an army from Highland clans .
Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell
Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell led local
Catholics, who had been discriminated against by previous English
monarchs, in the conquest of all the fortified places in the kingdom
Derry , and so held the Kingdom for James. James himself landed
in Ireland with 6,000 French troops to try to regain the throne in the
Williamite War in Ireland
Williamite War in Ireland . The war raged from 1689 to 1691. James
fled Ireland following his defeat at the
Battle of the Boyne
Battle of the Boyne in 1690,
but Jacobite resistance was not ended until after the battle of
Aughrim in 1691, when over half of their army was killed or taken
prisoner. The Irish Jacobites surrendered under the conditions of the
Treaty of Limerick
Treaty of Limerick on 3 October 1691. England stayed relatively calm
throughout, although some English Jacobites fought on James's side in
Ireland. Despite the Jacobite victory at the
Battle of Killiecrankie ,
the uprising in the
Scottish Highlands was quelled due to the death of
its leader, Dundee, and
Williamite victories at Dunkeld and Cromdale ,
as well as the Glencoe massacre in early 1692. Many, particularly in
Ireland and Scotland, continued to see the
Stuarts as the legitimate
monarchs of the Three Kingdoms, and there were further Jacobite
Scotland during the years 1715, 1719 and 1745.
Though he had carefully avoided making it public, William's main
motive in organising the expedition had been the opportunity to bring
England into an alliance against France. On 9 December 1688 he had
already asked the States General to send a delegation of three to
negotiate the conditions. On 18 February (Julian calendar) he asked
the Convention to support the Republic in its war against France; but
it refused, only consenting to pay £600,000 for the continued
presence of the Dutch army in England. On 9 March (Gregorian calendar)
the States General responded to Louis's earlier declaration of war by
declaring war on France in return. On 19 April (Julian calendar) the
Dutch delegation signed a naval treaty with England. It stipulated
that the combined Anglo-Dutch fleet would always be commanded by an
Englishman, even when of lower rank; also it specified that the two
parties would contribute in the ratio of five English vessels against
three Dutch vessels, meaning in practice that the Dutch navy in the
future would be smaller than the English. The
Navigation Acts were not
repealed. On 18 May the new Parliament allowed William to declare war
on France. On 9 September 1689 (Gregorian calendar), William as King
of England joined the
League of Augsburg
League of Augsburg against France.
THE DECLINE OF THE DUTCH REPUBLIC
Having England as an ally meant that the military situation of the
Republic was strongly improved, but this very fact induced William to
be uncompromising in his position towards France. This policy led to a
large number of very expensive campaigns which were largely paid for
with Dutch funds. In 1712 the Republic was financially exhausted; it
withdrew from international politics and was forced to let its fleet
deteriorate, making what was by then the
Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain the
dominant maritime power of the world. The Dutch economy, already
burdened by the high national debt and concomitant high taxation,
suffered from the other European states' protectionist policies, which
its weakened fleet was no longer able to resist. To make matters
worse, the main Dutch trading and banking houses moved much of their
Amsterdam to London after 1688. Between 1688 and 1720,
world trade dominance shifted from the Republic to Britain.
REVOLUTION OR INVASION?
The events of 1688 are known as the "Glorious Revolution" but since
an intensified historical interest due to the third centennial of the
event, some academics have portrayed the "revolution" as a Dutch
invasion of Britain. The "Glorious Revolution" fulfils the criterion
for revolution, being an internal change of constitution and also the
criterion for invasion , because it involved the landing of large
numbers of foreign troops. The events were unusual because the
establishment of a constitutional monarchy (a de facto republic, see
Coronation Oath Act 1688 ) and Bill of Rights meant that the
apparently invading monarchs, legitimate heirs to the throne, were
prepared to govern with the English Parliament. It is difficult to
classify the entire proceedings of 1687–89 but it can be seen that
the events occurred in three phases: conspiracy, invasion by Dutch
forces and "Glorious Revolution". It has been argued that the invasion
aspect had been downplayed as a result of a combination of British
pride and successful Dutch propaganda, trying to depict the course of
events as a largely internal English affair.
WORLD EMPIRE OR MERCHANT ECONOMY?
The overthrow of James was hailed at the time and ever since, as the
Edmund Burke set the tone for over two
centuries of historiographical analysis when he proclaimed that: The
Revolution was made to preserve our ancient indisputable laws and
liberties, and that ancient constitution of government which is our
only security for law and liberty.
Many historians have endorsed Burke's view, including Macaulay (1848)
and more recently John Morrill, who captured the consensus of
contemporary historiography well when he declared that "the Sensible
Revolution of 1688–89 was a conservative Revolution". On the
Steven Pincus (2009) argues that it was momentous especially
when looking at the alternative that James was trying to enact – a
powerful centralised autocratic state, using French-style
"state-building". England's role in Europe and the country's political
economy in the 17th century refutes the view of many late-20th-century
historians that nothing revolutionary occurred during the Glorious
Revolution of 1688–89. Pincus says it was not a placid turn of
events. In diplomacy and economics William III transformed the English
state's ideology and policies. This occurred not because William III
was an outsider who inflicted foreign notions on England but because
foreign affairs and political economy were at the core of the English
revolutionaries' agenda. The revolution of 1688–89 cannot be
fathomed in isolation. It would have been inconceivable without the
changes resulting from the events of the 1640s and 1650s. Indeed, the
ideas accompanying the
Glorious Revolution were rooted in the
mid-century upheavals. Thus, the 17th century was a century of
revolution in England, deserving of the same scholarly attention that
'modern' revolutions attract.
James II tried building a powerful militarised state on the
mercantilist assumption that the world's wealth was necessarily finite
and empires were created by taking land from other states. The East
India Company was thus an ideal tool to create a vast new English
imperial dominion by warring with the Dutch and the Mogul Empire in
India. After 1689 came an alternative understanding of economics,
which saw Britain as a commercial rather than an agrarian society. The
proponents of this view, most famously
Adam Smith in 1776, argued that
wealth was created by human endeavour and was thus potentially
Glorious Revolution of 1688 is considered by some as being one of
the most important events in the long evolution of the respective
powers of Parliament and the Crown in England. With the passage of the
Bill of Rights , it stamped out once and for all any possibility of a
Catholic monarchy, and ended moves towards absolute monarchy in the
British kingdoms by circumscribing the monarch's powers. These powers
were greatly restricted; he or she could no longer suspend laws, levy
taxes, make royal appointments, or maintain a standing army during
peacetime without Parliament's permission – to this day the Army is
known as the "British Army" not the "Royal Army" as it is, in some
sense, Parliament's Army and not that of the King. (This is, however,
a complex issue, as the Crown remains the source of all executive
authority in the British army, with legal implications for unlawful
orders etc.). Since 1689, government under a system of constitutional
monarchy in England, and later the United Kingdom, has been
uninterrupted. Since then, Parliament's power has steadily increased
while the Crown's has steadily declined. Unlike in the English civil
war of the mid-seventeenth century, the "Glorious Revolution" did not
involve the masses of ordinary people in England (the majority of the
bloodshed occurred in Ireland). This fact has led many historians,
including Stephen Webb, to suggest that, in England at least, the
events more closely resemble a coup d'état than a social revolution.
This view of events does not contradict what was originally meant by
"revolution": the coming round of an old system of values in a
circular motion, back to its original position, as Britain's
constitution was reasserted, rather than formed anew.
Prior to his arrival in England, the new king William III of England
was not Anglican , but rather was a member of the Dutch Reformed
Church . Consequently, as a Calvinist and Presbyterian he was now in
the unenviable position of being the head of the Church of England,
while technically being a
Nonconformist . This was, however, not his
main motive for promoting religious toleration. More important in that
respect was the need to keep happy his Catholic allies in the coming
struggle with Louis XIV. Though he had promised legal toleration for
Catholics in his Declaration of October 1688, he was ultimately
unsuccessful in this respect, due to opposition by the Tories in the
new Parliament. The Revolution led to the Act of Toleration of 1689 ,
which granted toleration to
Nonconformist Protestants , but not to
Catholic emancipation would be delayed for 140 years.
Williamite War in Ireland
Williamite War in Ireland can be seen as the source of later
The Troubles of recent times. The Williamite
victory in Ireland is still commemorated by the
Orange Order for
preserving British and Protestant dominance in the country.
In North America, the
Glorious Revolution precipitated the 1689
Boston revolt in which a well-organised "mob" of provincial militia
and citizens successfully deposed the hated governor
Edmund Andros ,
which has been seen as a precedent for the American War of
Independence a century later. In New York, Leisler\'s Rebellion caused
the colonial administrator,
Francis Nicholson , to flee to England. A
third event, Maryland's Protestant Rebellion was directed against the
proprietary government, seen as Catholic-dominated.
Lord Macaulay 's account of the Revolution in The History of England
from the Accession of James the Second exemplifies its semi-mystical
significance to later generations.
List of deserters from James II to William of Orange
London, Quo Warranto Judgment Reversed Act 1689
* ^ A B C D E F G In this article "New Style" means the start of
year is adjusted to 1 January. Events on the European mainland are
usually given using the
Gregorian calendar , while events in Great
Britain and Ireland are usually given using the
Julian calendar with
the year adjusted to 1 January. Dates with no explicit Julian or
Gregorian postscript will be using the same calendar as the last date
with an explicit postscript. For an explanation of these changes in
calendar and dating styles, see Old Style and
New Style dates .
* ^ England, Scotland, and Ireland at the time shared a king but
were still theoretically separate realms with their own parliaments.
In practice, the
Parliament of Ireland had been completely under the
control of Westminster since Poynings\' Law of 1494, but Scotland
still had a degree of independence.
* ^ After Mary's sister Anne. This line of succession was
overturned by the Bill of Rights; see Succession to the British throne
* ^ It was rumoured that he was a baby who had been smuggled into
the royal bedchamber in a warming pan, but this is not now taken
* ^ As there had been in 1672 with the concerted attack by France
and England on the Republic on the basis of the Secret treaty of Dover
* ^ John Churchill , later the 1st Duke of Marlborough , was the
pre-eminent British general of his generation.
I once heard the
Duke of Wellington asked whether he thought Napoleon
or Marlborough the greater general. "It is difficult to answer that",
he replied. "I used always to say that the presence of Napoleon at a
battle was equal to a reinforcement of 40,000 men. But I can conceive
nothing greater than Marlborough at the head of an English army".
Philip Stanhope, 5th Earl Stanhope . * ^ The importance of
the event has divided historians ever since Friedrich Engels judged it
"a relatively puny event" (Engels 1997 , p. 269).
* ^ i.e. Spain and the German Emperor
* ^ Coward 1980 , pp. 298–302.
* ^ See e.g. Israel see also Israel & Parker 1991 , pp. 335–64
* ^ In testimony before a House of Lords committee in the autumn of
1689 (Schwoerer 2004 , p. 3).
* ^ "The Glorious Revolution". www.parliament.uk. Retrieved 3
* ^ Harris, Tim (2006). Revolution: The Great Crisis of the British
Monarchy, 1685–1720. London: Allen Lane. p. 440. ISBN
* ^ Magennis, Eoin (1998). "A \'Beleaguered Protestant\'?: Walter
Harris and the Writing of Fiction Unmasked in Mid-18th-Century
Ireland". Eighteenth-Century Ireland. 13: 6–111. Retrieved 16 March
* ^ Macaulay 1889 , pp. 368–69.
* ^ Carpenter 1956 , pp. 96–98.
* ^ Western 1972 , p. 201.
* ^ Jones 1988 , p. 132.
* ^ Jones 1988 , pp. 132–33.
* ^ Jones 1988 , p. 146.
* ^ Jones 1988 , p. 150.
* ^ Childs 1980 , pp. 96–97.
* ^ Troost 2001 , pp. 182–83.
* ^ Troost 2001 , p. 176.
* ^ Troost 2001 , p. 182.
* ^ Troost 2001 , p. 187.
* ^ Jones 1988 , pp. 218–19.
* ^ Jones 1988 , pp. 219–20.
* ^ Jones 1988 , pp. 221–22.
* ^ A B Jones 1988 , p. 222.
* ^ Jones 1988 , pp. 223–24.
* ^ Hoak 1996 , p. 24
* ^ Troost 2001 , p. 191.
* ^ Baxter 1966 , p. 225.
* ^ Baxter 1966 , p. 231.
* ^ Jones 1988 , pp. 238–39.
* ^ Dalrymple 1790 , appendix to book v, pp. 107–10.
* ^ Dalrymple 1790 , appendix to book v, p. 108.
* ^ Dalrymple 1790 , appendix to book v, pp. 108–09.
* ^ Dalrymple 1790 , appendix to book v, p. 109.
* ^ A B C D Rodger 2004 , p. 139.
* ^ A B Troost 2001 , p. 198.
* ^ Jardine 2008 , p. 38.
* ^ Baxter 1966 , pp. 232–33.
* ^ Jardine 2008 , p. 52.
* ^ Swetschinsky ">
* ^ Prud\'homme van Reine 2009 , p. 287.
* ^ Jardine 2008 , p. 41.
* ^ Jardine 2008 , p. 39.
* ^ Jardine 2008 , p. 37.
* ^ Prud\'homme van Reine 2009 , p. 288.
* ^ Jardine 2008 , p. 29.
* ^ Williams 1960 , pp. 10–16.
* ^ Speck 1989 , p. 74.
* ^ Speck 1989 , pp. 74–75.
* ^ Troost 2001 , p. 199.
* ^ A B C D Rodger 2004 , p. 137.
* ^ Jones 1973 , pp. 201–21.
* ^ Rodger 2004 , p. 138.
* ^ Prud\'homme van Reine 2009 , p. 291.
* ^ Jardine 2008 , pp. 10–11.
* ^ A B Western 1972 , p. 260.
* ^ Prud\'homme van Reine 2009 , p. 289.
* ^ Macaulay 1889 , p. 561.
* ^ Prud\'homme van Reine 2009 , p. 290.
* ^ A B Prud\'homme van Reine 2009 , pp. 290–91.
* ^ Davies 1989
* ^ Macaulay 1889 , pp. 563–64.
* ^ A B Macaulay 1889 , p. 565.
* ^ Childs 1980 , pp. 175.
* ^ Harris 2006 , p. 204; Sowerby 2013 , pp. 347–48; Speck 2002 ,
* ^ Marquess of Cambridge 1966 , pp. 152–53.
* ^ Childs 1980 , p. 4.
* ^ Beddard 1988 , p. 19.
* ^ Schuchard 2002 , p. 762.
* ^ Western 1972 , p. 259.
* ^ Van der Kuijl 1988
* ^ Jardine 2008 , p. 16.
* ^ A B Jardine 2008 , p. 15.
* ^ Jardine 2008 , p. 32.
* ^ Jardine 2008 , p. 31.
* ^ Childs 1980
* ^ Stanhope 2011 , footnote 90.
* ^ Jardine 2008 , p. 56.
* ^ A B Information Services .
* ^ A B Jardine 2008 , p. 17.
* ^ Jardine 2008 , p. 19.
* ^ Journaal van Constantijn Huygens, i, 62
* ^ Horwitz 1977 , p. 9.
* ^ Beddard 1988 , p. 65 cites: Foxcroft, H. C. (1898), The Life
and Letters of Sir George Savile, Marquis of Halifax, II, London, pp.
* ^ Horwitz 1977 , pp. 9–10.
* ^ Horwitz 1977 , p. 10.
* ^ Horwitz 1977 , p. 11.
* ^ Jardine 2008 , p. 26.
* ^ Horwitz 1977 , p. 12.
* ^ Williams 1960 , p. 26.
* ^ Williams 1960 , p. 27.
* ^ Williams 1960 , pp. 28–29.
* ^ Carpenter 1956 , pp. 145–46.
* ^ Williams 1960 , pp. 37–39.
* ^ Vries Vallance 2007
* ^ Jardine 2008 , p. 27.
* ^ Goodlad 2007 .
* ^ Dekrey 2008 , pp. 738–73.
* ^ A B Pincus 2009
* ^ Windeyer 1938
* ^ Webb 1995 , p. 166.
* ^ Mitchell 2009 , xvi, xviii, xix.
* ^ Black & MacRaid 2000 , pp. 7, 8.
* ^ Israel 2003 , pp. 137–38.
* ^ Israel 2003 , pp. 20.
* Baxter, Stephen B (1966). William III.
OCLC 415582287 .
* Beddard, Robert (1988). A Kingdom without a King: The Journal of
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* Carpenter, Edward (1956). The Protestant Bishop. Being the Life of
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* Childs, John (1980). The Army, James II, and the Glorious
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* Coward, Barry (1980). The Stuart Age: A History of England
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the Dissolution of the last Parliament of Charles II till the Capture
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* Information Services, "William of Orange\'s Itinerary",
University of Nottingham ,
retrieved 5 August 2010
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ISBN 0-521-39075-3 .
* Israel, Jonathan I.; Parker, Geoffrey (1991). "Of Providence and
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* Israel, Jonathan I (2003). The Anglo-Dutch Moment: Essays on the
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* Jardine, Lisa (2008). Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland's
Glory. Harper . ISBN 978-0-00-719734-7 . one of the few scholarly
studies that sides with James II and denounces the episode as a Dutch
invasion and British defeat
* Jones, Clyve (1973), "The
Protestant Wind of 1688: Myth and
Reality", European Studies Review, 3: 201–21, ISSN 0014-3111
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History of England from the
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Oxford University Press .
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Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-52614-0 .
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Glorious Revolution. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-07309-8
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* Speck, William Arthur (2002). James II. Longman. ISBN
* Stanhope, Philip Henry, 5th Earl of (2011). Notes of Conversations
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* Troost, Wout (2001). Stadhouder-koning Willem III: Een politieke
biografie. Uitgeverij Verloren, Hilversum. ISBN 978-90-6550-639-9 .
* Vallance, Edward (2007). "The Glorious Revolution".
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* Van der Kuijl, Arjen (1988). De glorieuze overtocht: De expeditie
van Willem III naar Engeland in 1688. Amsterdam: De Bataafsche Leeuw.
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* Vries, Jan de; Woude, Ad van der (1997). The First Modern Economy:
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* Webb, Stephen Saunders (1995), Lord Churchill's Coup, Syracuse,
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* DeKrey, Gary S. (2007). Restoration and Revolution in Britain: A
Political History of the Era of Charles II and the Glorious
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history of the era.
* Glassey, Lionel K. J., ed. (1997). The Reigns of Charles II and
James VII and II. ISBN 978-0-333-62500-2 . Articles by scholars.
* Hamowy, Ronald (2008). "Glorious Revolution". The Encyclopedia of
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* Harris, Tim and Stephen Taylor, eds (2013). The Final Crisis of
the Stuart Monarchy: The Revolutions of 1688–91 in their British,
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Dee. ISBN 978-1-56663-615-5 .
* Miller, John (1997). The
Glorious Revolution (2 ed.). ISBN
* Ogg, David (1956). William III. A brief scholarly biography.
* Onnekink, David (2007). The Anglo-Dutch Favourite: The Career of
Hans Willem Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland (1649–1709). Ashgate
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* Vallance, Edward (2006). The Glorious Revolution: 1688 –
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* Weiss, B.: Medals of the Glorious Revolution: The Influence of
Catholic-Protestant Antagonism, ANS Magazine, Vol. 13, Issue 1, pp.