James, Duke of York
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James VII and II (14 October 1633 16 September 1701) was
King of England The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy, constitutional form of government by which a hereditary monarchy, hereditary sovereign reigns as the head of state of the United ...
and
King of Ireland King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen, which title is also given to the consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contemporary indigenous peoples, the ...
as James II, and
King of Scotland The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, orga ...
as James VII from the death of his elder brother, Charles II, on 6 February 1685. He was deposed in the
Glorious Revolution The Glorious Revolution; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus , also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or ''Glorious Crossing'' in the Netherlands, is the sequence of events leading to the deposition of King James II and ...
of 1688. He was the last
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide . It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a ...
monarch of
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. It is separa ...
,
Scotland Scotland (, ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a Anglo-Scottish border, border with England to the southeast ...
, and
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, in Northwestern Europe, north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Grea ...
. His reign is now remembered primarily for conflicts over religious tolerance, but it also involved struggles over the principles of absolutism and the
divine right of kings In European Christianity, the divine right of kings, divine right, or God's mandation is a political and religious doctrine of political legitimacy of a monarchy. It stems from a specific Metaphysics, metaphysical framework in which a monarch ...
. His deposition ended a century of political and civil strife in England by confirming the primacy of the English Parliament over the Crown. James succeeded to the thrones of England, Ireland, and Scotland following the death of his brother with widespread support in all three countries, largely because the principles of eligibility based on divine right and birth were widely accepted. Tolerance of his personal Catholicism did not extend to tolerance of Catholicism in general, and the English and
Scottish Parliament The Scottish Parliament ( gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba ; sco, Scots Pairlament) is the devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved, unicameralism, unicameral legislature of Scotland. Located in the Holyrood, Edinburgh, Holyrood area of the capital ...
s refused to pass his measures. When James attempted to impose them by decree, this was met with opposition; some academics have however argued that it was a political principle, rather than a religious one, that ultimately led to his removal. In June 1688, two events turned dissent into a crisis. Firstly, the birth of James's son and heir
James Francis Edward James Francis Edward Stuart (10 June 16881 January 1766), nicknamed the Old Pretender by Whigs (British political party), Whigs, was the son of King James II of England, James II and VII of Kingdom of England, England, Kingdom of Sco ...
on 10 June raised the prospect of establishing a Roman Catholic dynasty and excluding his Anglican daughter Mary and her Protestant husband
William III of Orange William III (William Henry; ; 4 November 16508 March 1702), also widely known as William of Orange, was the sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of County of Holland, Holland, County of Zeeland, Zeeland, Lordship of Utrecht, Utrec ...
from the line of succession. Secondly, the prosecution of the Seven Bishops for
seditious libel Sedition and seditious libel were criminal offences under English common law, and are still criminal offences in Canada. Sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection a ...
was viewed as further evidence of an assault on the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church record ...
, and their acquittal on 30 June destroyed his political authority in England. The ensuing anti-Catholic riots in England and Scotland led to a general feeling that only James's removal from the throne could prevent a civil war. Leading members of the English political class invited William of Orange to assume the English throne. When William landed in
Brixham Brixham is a coastal town and Civil parishes in England, civil parish, the smallest and southernmost of the three main population centres (the others being Paignton and Torquay) on the coast of Torbay in the county of Devon, in the south-west ...
on 5 November 1688, James's army deserted and he went into exile in France on 23 December. In February 1689, a special Convention Parliament held that James had "vacated" the English throne and installed William and Mary as joint monarchs, thereby establishing the principle that
sovereignty Sovereignty is the defining authority within individual consciousness, Social constructionism, social construct, or territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty i ...
derived from Parliament, not birth. James landed in Ireland on 14 March 1689 in an attempt to recover his kingdoms, but, despite a simultaneous rising in Scotland, in April a Scottish Convention followed that of England, both finding that James had "forfeited" the throne and offered it to William and Mary. After his defeat at the
Battle of the Boyne The Battle of the Boyne ( ga, Cath na Bóinne ) was a battle in 1690 between the forces of the Glorious Revolution, deposed King James II of England, James II of England and Ireland, VII of Scotland, and those of King William III of England, ...
in July 1690, James returned to France, where he spent the rest of his life in exile at Saint-Germain, protected by
Louis XIV Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 16381 September 1715), also known as Louis the Great () or the Sun King (), was List of French monarchs, King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the Li ...
. While his contemporary opponents often portrayed him as an absolutist tyrant, beginning in the 20th century some historians began praising James for advocating religious tolerance. More recent scholarship has tended to take a middle ground between these views.


Early life


Birth

James, the second surviving son of King
Charles I Charles I may refer to: Kings and emperors * Charlemagne (742–814), numbered Charles I in the lists of Holy Roman Emperors and French kings * Charles I of Anjou (1226–1285), also king of Albania, Jerusalem, Naples and Sicily * Charles I of ...
and his wife,
Henrietta Maria of France Henrietta Maria (french: link=no, Henriette Marie; 25 November 1609 – 10 September 1669) was List of English royal consorts, Queen of England, List of Scottish royal consorts, Scotland, and Ireland from her marriage to Charles I of England, ...
, was born at
St James's Palace St James's Palace is the most senior royal palace in London, the capital of the United Kingdom. The palace gives its name to the Court of St James's, which is the monarch's royal court, and is located in the City of Westminster in London. Altho ...
in London on 14 October 1633. Later that same year, he was baptized by
William Laud William Laud (; 7 October 1573 – 10 January 1645) was a bishop in the Church of England. Appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by Charles I of England, Charles I in 1633, Laud was a key advocate of Caroline era#Religion, Charles I's religious re ...
, the
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, ...
Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained clergy member who is entrusted with a position of Episcopal polity, authority and oversight in a religious institution. In Christianity, bishops are normally resp ...
. He was educated by private tutors, along with his older brother, the future King Charles II, and the two sons of the
Duke of Buckingham Duke of Buckingham held with Duke of Chandos, referring to Buckingham, is a title that has been created several times in the peerages of Peerage of England, England, Peerage of Great Britain, Great Britain, and the Peerage of the United Kingdom ...
,
George George may refer to: People * George (given name) * George (surname) * George (singer), American-Canadian singer George Nozuka, known by the mononym George * George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an Americ ...
and Francis Villiers. At the age of three, James was appointed Lord High Admiral; the position was initially honorary, but became a substantive office after the Restoration, when James was an adult. He was designated
Duke of York Duke of York is a title of nobility in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Since the 15th century, it has, when granted, usually been given to the second son of List of English monarchs, English (later List of British monarchs, British) monarchs. ...
at birth, invested with the
Order of the Garter The Most Noble Order of the Garter is an order of chivalry founded by Edward III of England in 1348. It is the most senior order of knighthood in the Orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom, British honours system, outranked in ...
in 1642, and formally created Duke of York in January 1644.


Wars of the Three Kingdoms

In August 1642, long-running political disputes between Charles I and his opponents in
Parliament In modern politics, and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electorate, making laws, and overseeing ...
led to the
First English Civil War The First English Civil War took place in Kingdom of England, England and Wales from 1642 to 1646, and forms part of the 1639 to 1653 Wars of the Three Kingdoms. They include the Bishops' Wars, the Irish Confederate Wars, the Second English ...
. James and his brother Charles were present at the
Battle of Edgehill The Battle of Edgehill (or Edge Hill) was a pitched battle A pitched battle or set-piece battle is a battle in which opposing forces each anticipate the setting of the battle, and each chooses to commit to it. Either side may have the o ...
in October and narrowly escaped capture by Parliamentarian cavalry. He spent most of the next four years in the
Royalist A royalist supports a particular monarch as head of state for a particular kingdom, or of a particular dynastic claim. In the abstract, this position is royalism. It is distinct from monarchism, which advocates a monarchical system of gov ...
wartime capital of
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2020, its population was estimated at 151,584. It is north-west of London, south-east of Birmingham and north-east of Bristol. The city is home to the Un ...
, where he was made a
Master of Arts A Master of Arts ( la, Magister Artium or ''Artium Magister''; abbreviated MA, M.A., AM, or A.M.) is the holder of a master's degree awarded by University, universities in many countries. The degree is usually contrasted with that of Master of ...
by the University on 1 November 1642 and served as colonel of a volunteer regiment of foot. Following its surrender in June 1646, James was taken to London and held with his younger siblings Henry, Elizabeth and Henrietta in
St James's Palace St James's Palace is the most senior royal palace in London, the capital of the United Kingdom. The palace gives its name to the Court of St James's, which is the monarch's royal court, and is located in the City of Westminster in London. Altho ...
. Frustrated by their inability to agree to terms with Charles I, and with his brother Charles out of reach in
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
, Parliament considered making James king. James was ordered by his father to escape, and, with the help of Joseph Bampfield, in April 1648 successfully evaded his guards and crossed the North Sea to
The Hague The Hague ( ; nl, Den Haag or ) is a list of cities in the Netherlands by province, city and municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality of the Netherlands, situated on the west coast facing the North Sea. The Hague is the country's ad ...
. Following their victory in the 1648
Second English Civil War The Second English Civil War took place between February to August 1648 in Kingdom of England, England and Wales. It forms part of the series of conflicts known collectively as the 1639-1651 Wars of the Three Kingdoms, which include the 1641 ...
, Parliament ordered the
Execution of Charles I The execution of Charles I by Decapitation, beheading occurred on Tuesday, 30 January 1649 outside the Banqueting House on Whitehall. The execution was the culmination of political and military conflicts between the cavaliers, royalists and the ...
in January 1649. The
Covenanter Covenanters ( gd, Cùmhnantaich) were members of a 17th-century Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish religious and political movement, who supported a Presbyterian polity, Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and the primacy of its leaders in religious af ...
regime proclaimed Charles II King of Scotland, and after lengthy negotiations agreed to provide troops to restore him to the English throne. The
invasion An invasion is a Offensive (military), military offensive in which large numbers of combatants of one geopolitics, geopolitical Legal entity, entity aggressively enter territory (country subdivision), territory owned by another such entity, gen ...
ended in defeat at Worcester in September 1651. Although Charles managed to escape capture and return to the exiled court in
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,165,423 residents in 2019 in an area of more than 105 km² (41 sq mi), ma ...
, the Royalist cause appeared hopeless.


Exile in France

Like his brother, James sought refuge in France, serving in the French army under
Turenne Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, vicomte de Turenne (11 September 161127 July 1675), commonly known as Turenne , was a French general and one of only six Marshal of France, Marshals to have been promoted Marshal General of France. The most illustr ...
against the
Fronde The Fronde () was a series of civil wars in France between 1648 and 1653, occurring in the midst of the Franco-Spanish War (1635–1659), Franco-Spanish War, which had begun in 1635. King Louis XIV confronted the combined opposition of the pr ...
, and later against their Spanish allies. In the French army James had his first true experience of battle where, according to one observer, he "ventures himself and chargeth gallantly where anything is to be done". Turenne's favour led to James being given command of a captured Irish regiment in December 1652, and being appointed Lieutenant-General in 1654. In the meantime, Charles was attempting to reclaim his throne, but France, although hosting the exiles, had allied itself with
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English politician and military officer who is widely regarded as one of the most important statesmen in History of England, English history. He came to prominence during the 1639 to 1651 ...
. In 1656, Charles turned instead to Spain – an enemy of France – for support, and an alliance was made. In consequence, James was expelled from France and forced to leave Turenne's army. James quarrelled with his brother over the diplomatic choice of Spain over France. Exiled and poor, there was little that either Charles or James could do about the wider political situation, and James ultimately travelled to
Bruges Bruges ( , nl, Brugge ) is the capital and largest city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Scienc ...
and (along with his younger brother, Henry) joined the Spanish army under the Prince of Condé in Flanders, where he was given command as Captain-General of six regiments of British volunteers and fought against his former French comrades at the Battle of the Dunes. During his service in the Spanish army, James became friendly with two Irish Catholic brothers in the Royalist entourage, Peter and Richard Talbot, and became somewhat estranged from his brother's Anglican advisers. In 1659, the French and Spanish made peace. James, doubtful of his brother's chances of regaining the throne, considered taking a Spanish offer to be an admiral in their navy. Ultimately, he declined the position; by the next year the situation in England had changed, and Charles II was proclaimed King.


Restoration


First marriage

After the collapse of the Commonwealth in 1660, Charles II was restored to the
English throne The Throne of England is the throne A throne is the seat of state of a potentate or dignitary, especially the seat occupied by a sovereign on state occasions; or the seat occupied by a pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, ...
. Although James was the
heir presumptive An heir presumptive is the person entitled to inherit a throne, peerage, or other hereditary honour, but whose position can be displaced by the birth of an heir apparent or a new heir presumptive with a better claim to the position in question. ...
, it seemed unlikely that he would inherit the Crown, as Charles was still a young man capable of fathering children. On 31 December 1660, following his brother's restoration, James was created
Duke of Albany Duke of Albany is a peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary titles (and sometimes Life peer, non-hereditary titles) in a number of countries, and composed of assorted Imperial, royal and noble ranks, nob ...
in Scotland, to go along with his English title, Duke of York. Upon his return to England, James prompted an immediate controversy by announcing his engagement to Anne Hyde, the daughter of Charles's chief minister, Edward Hyde. In 1659, while trying to seduce her, James promised he would marry Anne. Anne became pregnant in 1660, but following the Restoration and James's return to power, no one at the royal court expected a prince to marry a
commoner A commoner, also known as the ''common man'', ''commoners'', the ''common people'' or the ''masses'', was in earlier use an ordinary person in a community or nation who did not have any significant social status, especially a member of neither ...
, no matter what he had pledged beforehand. Although nearly everyone, including Anne's father, urged the two not to marry, the couple married secretly, then went through an official marriage ceremony on 3 September 1660 in London. Their first child, Charles, was born less than two months later, but died in infancy, as did five further children. Only two daughters survived: Mary (born 30 April 1662) and Anne (born 6 February 1665).
Samuel Pepys Samuel Pepys (; 23 February 1633 – 26 May 1703) was an English diarist and Navy Board, naval administrator. He served as administrator of the Royal Navy and Member of Parliament (UK), Member of Parliament and is most famous for the diary he ...
wrote that James was fond of his children and his role as a father, and played with them "like an ordinary private father of a child", a contrast to the distant parenting common with royalty at the time. James's wife was devoted to him and influenced many of his decisions. Even so, he kept mistresses, including Arabella Churchill and Catherine Sedley, and was reputed to be "the most unguarded ogler of his time".
Samuel Pepys Samuel Pepys (; 23 February 1633 – 26 May 1703) was an English diarist and Navy Board, naval administrator. He served as administrator of the Royal Navy and Member of Parliament (UK), Member of Parliament and is most famous for the diary he ...
recorded in his diary that James "did eye my wife mightily". James's taste in women was often maligned, with
Gilbert Burnet Gilbert Burnet (18 September 1643 – 17 March 1715) was a Scottish philosopher and historian, and Bishop of Salisbury The Bishop of Salisbury is the ordinary of the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State relig ...
famously remarking that James's mistresses must have been "given ohim by his priests as a penance." Anne Hyde died in 1671.


Military and political offices and royal slavery

After the Restoration, James was confirmed as Lord High Admiral, an office that carried with it the subsidiary appointments of Governor of
Portsmouth Portsmouth ( ) is a port and city status in the United Kingdom, city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire in southern England. The city of Portsmouth has been a Unitary authorities of England, unitary authority since 1 April 1997 and is admi ...
and
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports is a ceremonial official in the United Kingdom. The post dates from at least the 12th century, when the title was Keeper of the Coast, but may be older. The Lord Warden was originally in charge of the Cinqu ...
. Charles II also made his brother the Governor of the Royal Adventurers into Africa (later shortened to the
Royal African Company The Royal African Company (RAC) was an English mercantile ( trading) company set up in 1660 by the royal Stuart family and City of London merchants to trade along the west coast of Africa. It was led by the Duke of York, who was the brother ...
) in October 1660, an office James retained until after the Glorious Revolution when he was forced to resign. When James commanded the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, English and Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were foug ...
during the
Second Anglo-Dutch War The Second Anglo-Dutch War or the Second Dutch War (4 March 1665 – 31 July 1667; nl, Tweede Engelse Oorlog "Second English War") was a conflict between Kingdom of England, England and the Dutch Republic partly for control over the seas a ...
(1665–1667) he immediately directed the fleet towards the capture of forts off the African coast that would facilitate British involvement in the
slave trade Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave—someone forbidden to quit one's service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as property. Slavery typically involves slaves being made to perf ...
(indeed British attacks on such forts occupied by the Dutch precipitated the war itself). James remained Admiral of the Fleet during the
Third Anglo-Dutch War The Third Anglo-Dutch War ( nl, Derde Engels-Nederlandse Oorlog), 27 March 1672 to 19 February 1674, was a naval conflict between the Dutch Republic and Kingdom of England, England, in alliance with Kingdom of France, France. It is considered ...
s (1672–1674), during which significant fighting also occurred off the African coast. Following the
raid on the Medway The Raid on the Medway, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War in June 1667, was a successful attack conducted by the Dutch admiralties, Dutch navy on Stuart period, English Ship of the line, warships laid up in the fleet Anchorage (shipping), ancho ...
in 1667, James oversaw the survey and re-fortification of the southern coast. The office of Lord High Admiral, combined with his revenue from post office and wine tariffs (positions granted him by Charles II upon his restoration) gave James enough money to keep a sizeable court household. In 1664, Charles II granted American territory between the
Delaware Delaware ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Maryland to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. The s ...
and
Connecticut Connecticut () is the southernmost state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, New York (state), New York to the west, and Long Island Sound to the ...
rivers to James. Following its capture by the British, the former Dutch territory of
New Netherland New Netherland ( nl, Nieuw Nederland; la, Novum Belgium or ) was a 17th-century colonial province of the Dutch Republic that was located on the East Coast of the United States, east coast of what is now the United States. The claimed territor ...
and its principal port,
New Amsterdam New Amsterdam ( nl, Nieuw Amsterdam, or ) was a 17th-century Dutch Empire, Dutch settlement established at the southern tip of Manhattan Island that served as the seat of the colonial government in New Netherland. The initial trading ''Factor ...
, were renamed the
Province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire ...
and
City of New York New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over , New York City is also the L ...
in James's honour. James gave part of the colony to proprietors
George Carteret Vice admiral (Royal Navy), Vice Admiral Sir George Carteret, 1st Baronet ( – 14 January 1680 New Style, N.S.) was a royalist statesman in Jersey and England, who served in the Clarendon ministry, Clarendon Ministry as Treasurer of the Navy. ...
and John Berkeley.
Fort Orange Fort Orange ( nl, Fort Oranje) was the first permanent New Netherland settlements, Dutch settlement in New Netherland; the present-day city of Albany, New York, Albany, New York (state), New York developed at this site. It was built in 1624 as ...
, north on the
Hudson River The Hudson River is a river that flows from north to south primarily through eastern New York (state), New York. It originates in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York and flows southward through the Hudson Valley to the New York Harb ...
, was renamed Albany after James's Scottish title. In 1683, James became the Governor of the
Hudson's Bay Company The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson) is a Canadian retail business group. A fur trade, fur trading business for much of its existence, HBC now owns and operates retail stores in Canada. The company's namesake b ...
, but did not take an active role in its governance. In September 1666, Charles II put James in charge of firefighting operations in the
Great Fire of London The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through central London from Sunday 2 September to Thursday 6 September 1666, gutting the medieval City of London inside the old London Wall, Roman city wall, while also extend ...
, in the absence of action by Lord Mayor Thomas Bloodworth. This was not a political office, but his actions and leadership were noteworthy. "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. In 1672, the Royal African Company received a new charter from Charles II. It set up forts and factories, maintained troops, and exercised martial law in West Africa in pursuit of trade in gold, silver, and African slaves. In the 1680s, the RAC was transporting about 5,000 slaves a year to markets primarily in the British Caribbean across the Atlantic. Many were branded on the chest with the letters "DY" for Duke of York, its Governor. As historian William Pettigrew writes, the RAC "shipped more enslaved African women, men, and children to the Americas than any other single institution during the entire period of the transatlantic slave trade."


Conversion to Roman Catholicism and second marriage

James's time in France had exposed him to the beliefs and ceremonies of the Roman Catholic Church, and both he and his wife, Anne, became drawn to that faith. James took Catholic
Eucharist The Eucharist (; from Greek , , ), also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper, is a Christianity, Christian Rite (Christianity), rite that is considered a sacrament in most churches, and as an Ordinance (Christianity), ordinance in ot ...
in 1668 or 1669, although his conversion was kept secret for almost a decade as he continued to attend Anglican services until 1676. In spite of his conversion, James continued to associate primarily with Anglicans, including John Churchill and George Legge, as well as
French Protestants Protestantism in France has existed in its various forms, starting with Calvinism and Lutheranism since the Protestant Reformation. John Calvin was a Frenchman, as were numerous other Protestant Reformers including William Farel, Pierre Viret and ...
, such as Louis de Duras, the Earl of Feversham. Growing fears of Roman Catholic influence at court led the English Parliament to introduce a new
Test Act The Test Acts were a series of English penal laws that served as a religious test for public office and imposed various civil disabilities on Roman Catholics and Nonconformist (Protestantism), nonconformists. The underlying principle was that onl ...
in 1673. Under this Act, all civil and military officials were required to take an oath (in which they were required to disavow the doctrine of
transubstantiation Transubstantiation (Latin language, Latin: ''transubstantiatio''; Greek language, Greek: μετουσίωσις ''metousiosis'') is, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, "the change of the whole substance of bread into the substance ...
and denounce certain practices of the Roman Church as superstitious and idolatrous) and to receive the Eucharist under the auspices of the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church record ...
. James refused to perform either action, instead choosing to relinquish the post of Lord High Admiral. His conversion to Roman Catholicism was thereby made public. King Charles II opposed James's conversion, ordering that James's daughters, Mary and Anne, be raised in the Church of England. Nevertheless, he allowed James to marry
Mary of Modena Mary of Modena ( it, Maria Beatrice Eleonora Anna Margherita Isabella d'Este; ) was List of English royal consorts, Queen of England, List of Scottish royal consorts, Scotland and Ireland as the second wife of James II and VII. A devout Roman C ...
, a fifteen-year-old Italian princess. James and Mary were
married by proxy A proxy wedding or proxy marriage is a wedding in which one or both of the individuals being united are not physically present, usually being represented instead by other persons. If both partners are absent a double proxy wedding occurs. Marriage ...
in a Roman Catholic ceremony on 20 September 1673. On 21 November, Mary arrived in England and Nathaniel Crew, Bishop of Oxford, performed a brief Anglican service that did little more than recognise the marriage by proxy. Many British people, distrustful of Catholicism, regarded the new Duchess of York as an agent of the
Papacy The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, 'father'), also known as supreme pontiff ( or ), Roman pontiff () or sovereign pontiff, is the bishop of Rome (or historically the patriarch of Rome), head of the worldwide Cathol ...
. James was noted for his deep devotion, once remarking, "If occasion were, I hope God would give me his grace to suffer death for the true Catholic religion as well as banishment."


Exclusion Crisis

In 1677, King Charles II arranged for James's daughter Mary to marry the Protestant Prince
William III of Orange William III (William Henry; ; 4 November 16508 March 1702), also widely known as William of Orange, was the sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of County of Holland, Holland, County of Zeeland, Zeeland, Lordship of Utrecht, Utrec ...
, son of Charles's and James's sister Mary. James reluctantly acquiesced after his brother and nephew had agreed to the marriage. Despite the Protestant marriage, fears of a potential Catholic monarch persisted, intensified by the failure of Charles II and his wife,
Catherine of Braganza Catherine of Braganza ( pt, Catarina de Bragança; 25 November 1638 – 31 December 1705) was List of English royal consorts, Queen of England, List of Scottish royal consorts, Scotland and Ireland during her marriage to Charles II of England, ...
, to produce any children. A defrocked Anglican clergyman,
Titus Oates Titus Oates (15 September 1649 – 12/13 July 1705) was an English priest who fabricated the "Popish Plot", a supposed Catholicism, Catholic conspiracy to kill Charles II of England, King Charles II. Early life Titus Oates was born at Oakham in ...
, spoke of a "
Popish Plot The Popish Plot was a fictitious conspiracy invented by Titus Oates Titus Oates (15 September 1649 – 12/13 July 1705) was an English priest who fabricated the "Popish Plot", a supposed Catholicism, Catholic conspiracy to kill Charles II of ...
" to kill Charles and to put the Duke of York on the throne. The fabricated plot caused a wave of anti-Catholic hysteria to sweep across the nation. In England, the Earl of Shaftesbury, a former government minister and now a leading opponent of Catholicism, proposed an
Exclusion Bill The Exclusion Crisis ran from 1679 until 1681 in the reign of King Charles II of England, Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland. Three Exclusion bills sought to exclude the King's brother and heir presumptive, James II of England, James, Du ...
that would have excluded James from the line of succession. Some members of Parliament even proposed to pass the crown to Charles's illegitimate son,
James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, 1st Duke of Buccleuch, Order of the Garter, KG, Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, PC (9 April 1649 – 15 July 1685) was a Dutch-born English nobleman and military officer. Originally called James Cr ...
. In 1679, with the Exclusion Bill in danger of passing, Charles II dissolved Parliament. Two further
Parliaments In modern politics, and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are o ...
were elected in 1680 and 1681, but were dissolved for the same reason. The Exclusion Crisis contributed to the development of the English two-party system: the Whigs were those who supported the Bill, while the
Tories A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy known as Toryism, based on a British version of Traditionalist conservatism, traditionalism and conservatism, which upholds the supremacy of social order as it has evolved in the English cul ...
were those who opposed it. Ultimately, the succession was not altered, but James was convinced to withdraw from all policy-making bodies and to accept a lesser role in his brother's government. On the orders of the King, James left England for
Brussels Brussels (french: Bruxelles or ; nl, Brussel ), officially the Brussels-Capital Region (All text and all but one graphic show the English name as Brussels-Capital Region.) (french: link=no, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale; nl, link=no, Bruss ...
. In 1680, he was appointed Lord High Commissioner of Scotland and took up residence at the
Holyrood Palace The Palace of Holyroodhouse ( or ), commonly referred to as Holyrood Palace or Holyroodhouse, is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. Located at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, at the opposite end to Edinburgh ...
in Edinburgh to suppress an uprising and oversee royal government. James returned to England for a time when Charles was stricken ill and appeared to be near death. The hysteria of the accusations eventually faded, 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. On 6 May 1682 James narrowly escaped the sinking of HMS ''Gloucester'', in which between 130 and 250 people perished. James argued with the pilot about the navigation of the ship before it ran aground on a sandbank, and then delayed abandoning ship, which may have contributed to the death toll.


Return to favour

In 1683, a plot was uncovered to assassinate Charles II and his brother and spark a republican revolution to re-establish a government of the Cromwellian style. The conspiracy, known as the
Rye House Plot The Rye House Plot of 1683 was a plan to assassinate King Charles II of England and his brother (and heir to the throne) James II of England, James, Duke of York. The royal party went from Westminster to Newmarket, Suffolk, Newmarket to see hor ...
, backfired upon its conspirators and provoked a wave of sympathy for the King and James. Several notable Whigs, including the
Earl of Essex Earl of Essex is a title in the Peerage of England which was first created in the 12th century by King Stephen of England. The title has been recreated eight times from its original inception, beginning with a new first Earl upon each new crea ...
and the King's illegitimate son, the
Duke of Monmouth Duke is a male title either of a monarch ruling over a duchy A duchy, also called a dukedom, is a Middle Ages, medieval country, territory, fiefdom, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess, a ruler hierarchically second to the king or Q ...
, were implicated. Monmouth initially confessed to complicity in the plot and implicated fellow conspirators, but later recanted. Essex committed suicide and Monmouth, along with several others, was obliged to flee into Continental exile. Charles II reacted to the plot by increasing repression of Whigs and dissenters. Taking advantage of James's rebounding popularity, Charles invited him back onto the
Privy Council A privy council is a body that advice (constitutional), advises the head of state of a State (polity), state, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchy, monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a pr ...
in 1684. While some in the English Parliament remained wary of the possibility of a Roman Catholic king, the threat of excluding James from the throne had passed.


Reign


Accession to the throne

Charles II died in 1685 from
apoplexy Apoplexy () is rupture of an internal organ and the accompanying symptoms. The term formerly referred to what is now called a stroke A stroke is a disease, medical condition in which poor cerebral circulation, blood flow to the brain causes c ...
, after supposedly converting to Catholicism on his deathbed. Having no legitimate children, Charles was succeeded by his brother James, who reigned in England and Ireland as James II, and in Scotland as James VII. There was little initial opposition to his accession, and there were widespread reports of public rejoicing at the orderly succession. James wanted to proceed quickly to the coronation. James and Mary were crowned at
Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is an historic, mainly Gothic architecture, Gothic Church (building), church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of ...
on 23 April 1685. The new
Parliament In modern politics, and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electorate, making laws, and overseeing ...
that assembled in May 1685, which gained the name of " Loyal Parliament", was initially favourable to James, who had stated that most former exclusionists would be forgiven if they acquiesced to his rule. 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. Parliament granted James a generous life income, including all of the proceeds of tonnage and poundage and the customs duties. James worked harder as king than his brother had, but was less willing to compromise when his advisers disagreed with his policies.


Two rebellions

Soon after becoming king, James faced a rebellion in southern England led by his nephew, the
Duke of Monmouth Duke is a male title either of a monarch ruling over a duchy A duchy, also called a dukedom, is a Middle Ages, medieval country, territory, fiefdom, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess, a ruler hierarchically second to the king or Q ...
, and another rebellion in Scotland led by Archibald Campbell, the
Earl of Argyll Earl () is a rank of the nobility in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the Europea ...
. Monmouth and Argyll both began their expeditions from
Holland Holland is a geographical regionG. Geerts & H. Heestermans, 1981, ''Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal. Deel I'', Van Dale Lexicografie, Utrecht, p 1105 and former Provinces of the Netherlands, province on the western coast of the Netherland ...
, where James's nephew and son-in-law, the Prince of Orange, had neglected to detain them or put a stop to their recruitment efforts. Argyll sailed to Scotland where he raised recruits, mainly from his own clan, the Campbells. The rebellion was quickly crushed, and Argyll was captured at
Inchinnan Inchinnan (Scottish Gaelic: ''Innis Fhionghain'') is a small village in Renfrewshire, Scotland. The village is located on the main A8 road (Great Britain), A8 road between Renfrew, Scotland, Renfrew and Greenock, just south east of the town of E ...
on 18 June 1685. Having arrived with fewer than 300 men and unable to convince many more to flock to his standard, he never posed a credible threat to James. Argyll was taken as a prisoner to Edinburgh. A new trial was not commenced because Argyll had previously been tried and sentenced to death. The King confirmed the earlier death sentence and ordered that it be carried out within three days of receiving the confirmation. Monmouth's rebellion was coordinated with Argyll's, but was more dangerous to James. Monmouth had proclaimed himself King at
Lyme Regis Lyme Regis is a town in west Dorset, England, west of Dorchester, Dorset, Dorchester and east of Exeter. Sometimes dubbed the "Pearl of Dorset", it lies by the English Channel at the Dorset–Devon border. It has noted fossils in cliffs and be ...
on 11 June. He attempted to raise recruits but was unable to gather enough rebels to defeat even James's small standing army. Monmouth's soldiers attacked the King's army at night, in an attempt at surprise, but were defeated at the
Battle of Sedgemoor The Battle of Sedgemoor was the last and decisive engagement between the Kingdom of England and rebels led by the James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, Duke of Monmouth during the Monmouth rebellion, fought on 6 July 1685, and took place at Westonz ...
. The King's forces, led by Feversham and Churchill, quickly dispersed the ill-prepared rebels. Monmouth was captured and later executed at the
Tower of London The Tower of London, officially His Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, which is separa ...
on 15 July. The King's judges—most notably, George Jeffreys—condemned many of the rebels to
transportation Transport (in British English British English (BrE, en-GB, or BE) is, according to Oxford Dictionaries, " English as used in Great Britain, as distinct from that used elsewhere". More narrowly, it can refer specifically to the Engli ...
and
indentured servitude Indentured servitude is a form of labor in which a person is contracted to work without salary for a specific number of years. The contract, called an " indenture", may be entered "voluntarily" for purported eventual compensation or debt repaym ...
in the
West Indies The West Indies is a Subregion#North America, subregion of North America, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea that includes 13 independent island country, island countries and 18 dependent territory, ...
in a series of trials that came to be known as the Bloody Assizes. Around 250 of the rebels were executed. While both rebellions were defeated easily, they hardened James's resolve against his enemies and increased his suspicion of the Dutch.


Religious liberty and dispensing power

To protect himself from further rebellions, James sought safety by enlarging his
standing army A standing army is a permanent, often professional, army An army (from Old French ''armee'', itself derived from the Latin verb ''armāre'', meaning "to arm", and related to the Latin noun ''arma'', meaning "arms" or "weapons"), ground force ...
. 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. Even more alarming to Parliament was James's use of his dispensing power to allow Roman Catholics to command several regiments without having to take the oath mandated by the Test Act. When even the previously supportive Parliament objected to these measures, James ordered Parliament prorogued in November 1685, never to meet again in his reign. 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. 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." The Archbishop refused on the grounds of respect for the late king. James advocated
repeal A repeal (O.F. ''rapel'', modern ''rappel'', from ''rapeler'', ''rappeler'', revoke, ''re'' and ''appeler'', appeal) is the removal or reversal of a law. There are two basic types of repeal; a repeal with a re-enactment is used to replace the law ...
of the penal laws 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. 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. 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". In March 1686, James sent a letter to the Scottish Privy Council advocating toleration for Roman Catholics but not for rebellious Presbyterian Covenanters. Presbyterians would later call this period " The Killing Time". James allowed Roman Catholics to occupy the highest offices of his kingdoms, and received at his court the
papal nuncio An apostolic nuncio ( la, nuntius apostolicus; also known as a papal nuncio or simply as a nuncio) is an ecclesiastical diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanization, romanized ''diploma'') is a person appointed by a state ...
, Ferdinando d'Adda, the first representative from Rome to London since the reign of
Mary I Mary I (18 February 1516 – 17 November 1558), also known as Mary Tudor, and as "Bloody Mary" by her Protestant opponents, was List of English monarchs, Queen of England and List of Irish monarchs, Ireland from July 1553 and Queen of Sp ...
. Edward Petre, James's
Jesuit The Society of Jesus ( la, Societas Iesu; abbreviation: SJ), also known as the Jesuits (; la, Iesuitæ), is a religious order (Catholic), religious order of clerics regular of pontifical right for men in the Catholic Church headquartered in Rom ...
confessor, was a particular object of Anglican ire. When the King's Secretary of State, the
Earl of Sunderland Earl of Sunderland is a title that has been created twice in the Peerage of England The Peerage of England comprises all peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary titles (and sometimes Life peer, non-h ...
, began replacing office-holders at court with "Papist" favourites, James began to lose the confidence of many of his Anglican supporters. Sunderland's purge of office-holders even extended to the King's brothers-in-law (the Hydes) and their supporters. Roman Catholics made up no more than one-fiftieth of the English population. In May 1686, James sought to obtain a ruling from the English common-law courts that showed he had the power to dispense with Acts of Parliament. He dismissed judges who disagreed with him on this matter, as well as the Solicitor General, Heneage Finch. The case of ''Godden v. Hales'' affirmed his dispensing power, with eleven out of the twelve judges ruling in the king's favour. In 1687, James issued the
Declaration of Indulgence The Declaration of Indulgence, also called Declaration for Liberty of Conscience, was a pair of proclamations made by James II of England, James II of England and Ireland and VII of Scotland in 1687. The Indulgence was first issued for Scotland ...
, also known as the Declaration for Liberty of Conscience, in which he used his dispensing power to negate the effect of laws punishing both Roman Catholics and Protestant Dissenters. In the summer of 1687 he attempted to increase support for his tolerationist policy by a speaking tour of the western counties of England. As part of this tour, he gave a speech at Chester in which 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 eligiousopinions as for being of different complexions." At the same time, James provided partial toleration in Scotland, using his dispensing power to grant relief to Roman Catholics and partial relief to Presbyterians. In 1688, James ordered the Declaration read from the pulpits of every Anglican church, further alienating the Anglican bishops against the Supreme Governor of their church. While the Declaration elicited some thanks from its beneficiaries, it left the Established Church, the traditional ally of the monarchy, in the difficult position of being forced to erode its own privileges. James provoked further opposition by attempting to reduce the Anglican monopoly on education. At the
University of Oxford The University of Oxford is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the List of oldest universit ...
, he offended Anglicans by allowing Roman Catholics to hold important positions in Christ Church and
University College In a number of countries, a university college is a college institution that provides tertiary education but does not have full or independent university status. A university college is often part of a larger university. The precise usage varies ...
, two of Oxford's largest colleges. He also attempted to force the Fellows of Magdalen College to elect as their President Anthony Farmer, a man of generally ill repute who was believed to be a Roman Catholic, which was seen as a violation of the Fellows' right to elect someone of their own choosing. In 1687, James prepared to pack Parliament with his supporters, so that it would repeal the Test Act and the Penal Laws. James was convinced by addresses from Dissenters that he had their support and so could dispense with relying on Tories and Anglicans. He instituted a wholesale purge of those in offices under the Crown opposed to his plan, appointing new lord-lieutenants of counties and remodelling the corporations governing towns and livery companies. In October, James gave orders for the lord-lieutenants to provide three standard questions to all
Justices of the Peace A justice of the peace (JP) is a judicial officer of a lower or '' puisne'' court, elected or appointed by means of a commission (letters patent Letters patent ( la, litterae patentes) (plurale tantum, always in the plural) are a type of ...
: 1. Would they consent to the repeal of the Test Act and the Penal Laws? 2. Would they assist candidates who would do so? 3. Would they accept the Declaration of Indulgence? During the first three months of 1688, hundreds of those who gave negative replies to those questions were dismissed. 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. Most of the regulators were
Baptists Baptists form a major branch of Protestantism distinguished by baptizing professing Christianity, Christian believers only (believer's baptism), and doing so by complete Immersion baptism, immersion. Baptist churches also generally subscribe ...
, and the new town officials that they recommended included
Quakers Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian set of Christian denomination, denominations known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Members of these movements ("theFriends") are generally united by a belie ...
, Baptists,
Congregationalists Congregational churches (also Congregationalist churches or Congregationalism) are Protestant churches in the Calvinist tradition practising Congregationalist polity, congregationalist church governance, in which each Wiktionary:congregation, c ...
,
Presbyterians Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed Tradition, Reformed Protestantism, Reformed Christianity, or simply Reformed) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the Christian theol ...
and Roman Catholics, as well as
Anglicans Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation, in the context of the Protestant Reformation in Euro ...
. Finally, on 24 August 1688, James ordered the issue of writs for a general election. However, upon realising in September that William of Orange was going to land in England, James withdrew the writs and subsequently wrote to the lord-lieutenants to inquire over allegations of abuses committed during the regulations and election preparations, as part of the concessions he made to win support.


Deposition and the Glorious Revolution

In April 1688, James re-issued the Declaration of Indulgence, subsequently ordering Anglican clergy to read it in their churches. When seven Bishops, including the
Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained clergy member who is entrusted with a position of Episcopal polity, authority and oversight in a religious institution. In Christianity, bishops are normally resp ...
, submitted a petition requesting the reconsideration of the King's religious policies, they were arrested and tried for
seditious libel Sedition and seditious libel were criminal offences under English common law, and are still criminal offences in Canada. Sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection a ...
. Public alarm increased when Queen Mary gave birth to a Roman Catholic son and heir,
James Francis Edward James Francis Edward Stuart (10 June 16881 January 1766), nicknamed the Old Pretender by Whigs (British political party), Whigs, was the son of King James II of England, James II and VII of Kingdom of England, England, Kingdom of Sco ...
, on 10 June that year. When James's only possible successors were his two Protestant daughters, Anglicans could see his pro-Catholic policies as a temporary phenomenon, but when the prince's birth opened the possibility of a permanent Roman Catholic dynasty, such men had to reconsider their position. Threatened by a Roman Catholic dynasty, several influential Protestants claimed the child was supposititious and had been smuggled into the Queen's bedchamber in a warming pan. They had already entered into negotiations with the Prince of Orange when it became known the Queen was pregnant, and the birth of a son reinforced their convictions. On 30 June 1688, a group of seven Protestant nobles invited William, Prince of Orange, to come to England with an army. By September, it had become clear that William sought to invade. Believing that his own army would be adequate, James refused the assistance of King
Louis XIV Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 16381 September 1715), also known as Louis the Great () or the Sun King (), was List of French monarchs, King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the Li ...
of France, fearing that the English would oppose French intervention. When William arrived on 5 November 1688, many Protestant officers, including
Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (30 November 187424 January 1965) was a British statesman, soldier, and writer who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice, from 1940 to 1945 Winston Churchill in the Second World War, dur ...
, defected and joined William, as did James's own daughter, Anne. James lost his nerve and declined to attack the invading army, despite his army's numerical superiority. On 11 December, James tried to flee to France, first throwing the
Great Seal of the Realm The Great Seal of the Realm or Great Seal of the United Kingdom (known prior to the Treaty of Union 1707, Treaty of Union of 1707 as the Great Seal of England; and from then until the Acts of Union 1800, Union of 1801 as the Great Seal of Grea ...
into the
River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London London is the capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and th ...
. He was captured in
Kent Kent is a Counties of England, county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north-west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west, and Essex to the north across the estuary of the River ...
; later, he was released and placed under Dutch protective guard. Having no desire to make James a martyr, William let him escape on 23 December. James was received by his cousin and ally, Louis XIV, who offered him a palace and a pension. William summoned a Convention Parliament to decide how to handle James's flight. It convened on 22 January 1689. While the Parliament refused to depose him, they declared that James, having fled to France and dropped the Great Seal into the Thames, had effectively abdicated, and that the throne had thereby become vacant. To fill this vacancy, James's daughter Mary was declared Queen; she was to rule jointly with her husband William, who would be King. On 11 April 1689, the
Parliament of Scotland The Parliament of Scotland ( sco, Pairlament o Scotland; gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland from the 13th century until 1707. The parliament evolved during the early 13th century from the king's council of ...
declared James to have forfeited the throne of Scotland as well. The Convention Parliament issued a Declaration of Right on 12 February that denounced James for abusing his power, and proclaimed many limitations on royal authority. The abuses charged to James included the suspension of the Test Acts, the prosecution of the Seven Bishops for merely petitioning the Crown, the establishment of a standing army, and the imposition of cruel punishments. The Declaration was the basis for the
Bill of Rights A bill of rights, sometimes called a declaration of rights or a charter of rights, is a list of the most important rights to the citizens of a country. The purpose is to protect those rights against Civil and political rights, infringement fr ...
enacted later in 1689. The Bill also declared that henceforth, no Roman Catholic was permitted to ascend the English throne, nor could any English monarch marry a Roman Catholic.


Attempt to regain the throne


War in Ireland

With the assistance of French troops, James landed in Ireland in March 1689. The Irish Parliament did not follow the example of the English Parliament; it declared that James remained King and passed a massive bill of attainder against those who had rebelled against him. At James's urging, the Irish Parliament passed an Act for Liberty of Conscience that granted religious freedom to all Roman Catholics and Protestants in Ireland. James worked to build an army in Ireland, but was ultimately defeated at the
Battle of the Boyne The Battle of the Boyne ( ga, Cath na Bóinne ) was a battle in 1690 between the forces of the Glorious Revolution, deposed King James II of England, James II of England and Ireland, VII of Scotland, and those of King William III of England, ...
on 1 July 1690 O.S. when William arrived, personally leading an army to defeat James and reassert English control. James fled to France once more, departing from
Kinsale Kinsale ( ; ) is a historic port and fishing town in County Cork County Cork ( ga, Contae Chorcaí) is the largest and the southernmost Counties of Ireland, county of Republic of Ireland, Ireland, named after the city of Cork (city), Co ...
, never to return to any of his former kingdoms. Because he deserted his Irish supporters, James became known in Ireland as ''Séamus an Chaca'' or "James the shit". Despite this popular perception, later historian Breandán Ó Buachalla argues that "Irish political poetry for most of the eighteenth century is essentially Jacobite poetry", and both Ó Buachalla and fellow-historian Éamonn Ó Ciardha argue that James and his successors played a central role as messianic figures throughout the eighteenth century for all classes in Ireland.


Return to exile, death, and legacy

In France, James was allowed to live in the royal château of
Saint-Germain-en-Laye Saint-Germain-en-Laye () is a Communes of France, commune in the Yvelines Departments of France, department in the Île-de-France in north-central France. It is located in the western suburbs of Paris, from the Kilometre Zero, centre of Paris. ...
. James's wife and some of his supporters fled with him, including the Earl of Melfort; most, but not all, were Roman Catholic. In 1692, James's last child,
Louisa Maria Teresa Louisa Maria Teresa Stuart (french: link=no, Louise Marie Thérèse; 28 June 1692 – 18 April 1712), known to Jacobitism, Jacobites as The Princess Royal, was the last child of James II and VII, the deposed king of England, List of Scottish monar ...
, was born. Some supporters in England attempted to assassinate William III to restore James to the throne in 1696, but the plot failed and the backlash made James's cause less popular. In the same year, Louis XIV offered to have James elected
King of Poland Poland was ruled at various times either by dukes and princes (10th to 14th centuries) or by kings (11th to 18th centuries). During the latter period, a tradition of Royal elections in Poland, free election of monarchs made it a uniquely electab ...
. James rejected the offer, fearing that accepting the Polish crown might (in the minds of the English people) disqualify him from being King of England. After Louis concluded peace with William in 1697, he ceased to offer much assistance to James. During his last years, James lived as an austere penitent. 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. He died aged 67 of a
brain haemorrhage Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), also known as cerebral bleed, intraparenchymal bleed, and hemorrhagic stroke, or haemorrhagic stroke, is a sudden bleeding into Intraparenchymal hemorrhage, the tissues of the brain, into its Intraventricular hemor ...
on 16 September 1701 at
Saint-Germain-en-Laye Saint-Germain-en-Laye () is a Communes of France, commune in the Yvelines Departments of France, department in the Île-de-France in north-central France. It is located in the western suburbs of Paris, from the Kilometre Zero, centre of Paris. ...
. James's heart was placed in a silver-gilt locket and given to the convent at
Chaillot The 16th arrondissement of Paris (''XVIe arrondissement'') is one of the 20 Arrondissements of Paris, arrondissements of the capital city of France. In spoken French, this arrondissement is referred to as ''seizième''. The arrondissement incl ...
, and his brain was placed in a lead casket and given to the Scots College in Paris. His entrails were placed in two gilt urns and sent to the parish church of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and the English Jesuit college at Saint-Omer, while the flesh from his right arm was given to the English Augustinian nuns of Paris. The rest of James's body was laid to rest in a triple
sarcophagus A sarcophagus (plural sarcophagi or sarcophaguses) is a box-like funeral receptacle for a cadaver, corpse, most commonly carved in stone, and usually displayed above ground, though it may also be buried. The word ''sarcophagus'' comes from ...
(consisting of two wooden coffins and one of lead) at the St Edmund's Chapel in the Church of the English
Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sancti Benedicti, abbreviated as OSB), are a Christian monasticism, monastic Religious order (Catholic), religious order of the Catholic Church following the Rule of Saint Benedic ...
s in the Rue Saint-Jacques, Paris, with a funeral oration by Henri-Emmanuel de Roquette. James was not buried, but put in one of the side chapels. Lights were kept burning round his coffin until the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, ...
. In 1734, the
Archbishop of Paris The Archdiocese of Paris (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) a ...
heard evidence to support James's canonisation, but nothing came of it. During the French Revolution, James's tomb was raided.


Later Hanover succession

James's younger daughter Anne succeeded when William died in 1702. 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. Sophia was a granddaughter of
James VI and I James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and King of Ireland, Ireland as James I from the Union of the Crowns, union of the Scottish and Eng ...
through his eldest daughter, Elizabeth Stuart, the sister of
Charles I Charles I may refer to: Kings and emperors * Charlemagne (742–814), numbered Charles I in the lists of Holy Roman Emperors and French kings * Charles I of Anjou (1226–1285), also king of Albania, Jerusalem, Naples and Sicily * Charles I of ...
. 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.


Subsequent uprisings and pretenders

James's son
James Francis Edward James Francis Edward Stuart (10 June 16881 January 1766), nicknamed the Old Pretender by Whigs (British political party), Whigs, was the son of King James II of England, James II and VII of Kingdom of England, England, Kingdom of Sco ...
was recognised as king at his father's death by Louis XIV of France and James's remaining supporters (later known as Jacobites) as "James III and VIII". He led a rising in Scotland in 1715 shortly after George I's accession, but was defeated. Jacobites rose again in 1745 led by
Charles Edward Stuart Charles Edward Louis John Sylvester Maria Casimir Stuart (20 December 1720 – 30 January 1788) was the elder son of James Francis Edward Stuart, grandson of James II and VII, and the Stuart claimant to the thrones of England, Scotland and ...
, James II's grandson, and were again defeated. The risings were the last serious attempts to restore the Stuart dynasty. Charles's claims passed to his younger brother
Henry Benedict Stuart Henry Benedict Thomas Edward Maria Clement Francis Xavier Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York (6 March 1725 – 13 July 1807) was a Roman Catholic Cardinal (Catholic Church), cardinal, as well as the fourth and final Jacobitism, Jacobite heir to pu ...
, the Dean of the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church. Henry was the last of James II's legitimate descendants, and no relative has publicly acknowledged the Jacobite claim since his death in 1807.


Historiography

Historical analysis of James II has been somewhat revised since Whig historians, led by
Lord Macaulay Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, (; 25 October 1800 – 28 December 1859) was a British historian and Whig (British political faction), Whig politician, who served as the Secretary at War between 1839 and 1841, and as the Payma ...
, cast James as a cruel absolutist and his reign as "tyranny which approached to insanity". 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. In 1892, A. W. Ward wrote for the
Dictionary of National Biography The ''Dictionary of National Biography'' (''DNB'') is a standard work of reference on notable figures from History of the British Isles, British history, published since 1885. The updated ''Oxford Dictionary of National Biography'' (''ODNB'') ...
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."
Hilaire Belloc Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (, ; 27 July 187016 July 1953) was a Franco-English writer and historian of the early twentieth century. Belloc was also an orator, poet, sailor, satirist, writer of letters, soldier, and political activist. H ...
, a writer and Catholic apologist, broke with this 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". 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." 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. 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." He cast James II and William III as "men of ideals as well as human weaknesses". 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. Any 'absolutist' methods ... were essentially means to that end." In 2004, W. A. Speck wrote in the new
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography The ''Dictionary of National Biography'' (''DNB'') is a standard work of reference on notable figures from History of the British Isles, British history, published since 1885. The updated ''Oxford Dictionary of National Biography'' (''ODNB'') ...
that "James was genuinely committed to religious toleration, but also sought to increase the power of the crown." 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." Tim Harris's conclusions from his 2006 book summarised the ambivalence of modern scholarship towards James II: In 2009, Steven Pincus confronted that scholarly ambivalence in ''1688: The First Modern Revolution.'' 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. The first of these is that James purposefully "followed the French Sun King, Louis XIV, in trying to create a modern Catholic polity. This involved not only trying to Catholicize England ... but also creating a modern, centralizing, and extremely bureaucratic state apparatus." 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. Pincus presents James as neither naïve nor stupid nor egotistical. 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. Scott Sowerby countered Pincus's thesis in 2013 in ''Making Toleration: The Repealers and the Glorious Revolution.'' 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. 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". 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. 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.


Titles, styles, honours, and arms


Titles and styles

* 14 October 1633 – 6 February 1685: The Duke of York * 10 May 1659 – 6 February 1685: The Earl of Ulster Weir, Alison (1996). 258. ''Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy''. Revised Edition. Random House, London. . * 31 December 1660 – 6 February 1685: The Duke of Albany * 6 February 1685 – 23 December 1688 (by Jacobites until 16 September 1701): His Majesty The King The official style of James in England was "James the Second, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland,
Defender of the Faith Defender of the Faith ( la, Fidei Defensor or, specifically feminine, '; french: Défenseur de la Foi) is a phrase that has been used as part of the full Royal and noble styles, style of many English, Scottish, and later British monarchs since the ...
, etc." The claim to France was only nominal, and was asserted by every English king from
Edward III Edward III (13 November 1312 – 21 June 1377), also known as Edward of Windsor before his accession, was King of England and Lord of Ireland from January 1327 until his death in 1377. He is noted for his military success and for restoring ro ...
to
George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, in N ...
, regardless of the amount of French territory actually controlled. In Scotland, he was "James the Seventh, by the Grace of God, King of Scotland, England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc." James was created "
Duke of Normandy In the Middle Ages, the duke of Normandy was the ruler of the Duchy of Normandy in north-western Kingdom of France, France. The duchy arose out of a grant of land to the Viking leader Rollo by the French king Charles the Simple, Charles III in ...
" by King
Louis XIV of France Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 16381 September 1715), also known as Louis the Great () or the Sun King (), was List of French monarchs, King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the Li ...
on 31 December 1660. In 1734 the
Archbishop of Paris The Archdiocese of Paris (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) a ...
opened the cause for the canonisation of James as a saint, making him a
Servant of God "Servant of God" is a title used in the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized ...
among Catholics.


Honours

* KG:
Knight of the Garter The Most Noble Order of the Garter is an order of chivalry founded by Edward III of England Edward III (13 November 1312 – 21 June 1377), also known as Edward of Windsor before his accession, was King of England and Lord of Ireland ...
, 20 April 1642


Arms

Prior to his accession, James's coat of arms was the royal arms (which he later inherited), differenced by a
label A label (as distinct from signage) is a piece of paper, plastic film, cloth, metal, or other material affixed to a Packaging and labelling, container or Product (business), product, on which is written or printing, printed information or symb ...
of three points Ermine. His arms as king were: Quarterly, I and IV Grandquarterly, Azure three
fleurs-de-lis The fleur-de-lis, also spelled fleur-de-lys (plural ''fleurs-de-lis'' or ''fleurs-de-lys''), is a lily (in French, and mean 'flower' and 'lily' respectively) that is used as a decorative design or symbol. The fleur-de-lis has been used in the ...
Or (for France) and
Gules In heraldry, gules () is the tincture (heraldry), tincture with the colour red. It is one of the class of five dark tinctures called "colours", the others being azure (heraldry), azure (blue), sable (heraldry), sable (black), vert (heraldry), ver ...
three lions
passant guardant In heraldry Heraldry is a discipline relating to the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony, Imperial, royal and noble ranks, r ...
in pale Or ( for England); II Or a lion rampant within a double tressure flory-counter-flory Gules ( for Scotland); III Azure a harp Or stringed
Argent In heraldry, argent () is the tincture (heraldry), tincture of silver (color), silver, and belongs to the class of light Tincture (heraldry), tinctures called "metals". It is very frequently depicted as white and usually considered interchangeab ...
( for Ireland).


Family tree

In four generations of Stuarts, there were seven reigning monarchs (not including Hanover's George I). James II was the fourth Stuart monarch, the second of his generation and the father of two more.


Issue


Legitimate issue


Illegitimate issue


Notes


Sources


References

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* * DeKrey, Gary S. (2008). "Between Revolutions: Re-appraising the Restoration in Britain" ''History Compass'' 6 (3): 738–773. * Earle, Peter (1972). ''The Life and Times of James II''. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. * Glassey, Lionel, ed. (1997). ''The Reigns of Charles II and James VII and II''. * Goodlad, Graham (2007). "Before the Glorious Revolution: The Making of Absolute Monarchy? Graham Goodlad Examines the Controversies Surrounding the Development of Royal Power under Charles II and James II" ''History Review'' 58: 10 ff. * Johnson, Richard R. (1978). "Politics Redefined: An Assessment of Recent Writings on the Late Stuart Period of English History, 1660 to 1714." ''William and Mary Quarterly'' 35 (4): 691–732. * * * Mullett, M. (1993). ''James II and English Politics 1678–1688''. . * Ogg, David (1957). ''England in the Reigns of James II and William III'', 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press. * Van der Kiste, John (2021). ''James II and the first modern revolution''. Barnsley: Pen & Sword. * Walcott, Robert (1962). "The Later Stuarts (1660–1714): Significant Work of the Last Twenty Years (1939–1959)" ''American Historical Review'' 67 (2): 352–370


External links


King James II
at the
National Portrait Gallery, London The National Portrait Gallery (NPG) is an art gallery An art gallery is a room or a building in which visual art is displayed. In Western cultures from the mid-15th century, a gallery was any long, narrow covered passage along a wall, first ...
{{DEFAULTSORT:James 02 Of England 1633 births 1701 deaths 17th-century English monarchs 17th-century Scottish monarchs 17th-century Irish monarchs 18th-century British people 17th-century English nobility 17th-century Scottish peers Dukes of Normandy Jacobite pretenders 18th-century Jacobite pretenders
James II and VII James VII and II (14 October 1633 16 September 1701) was King of England and King of Ireland as James II, and King of Scotland as James VII from the death of his elder brother, Charles II of England, Charles II, on 6 February 1685. He was depo ...
British Roman Catholics Converts to Roman Catholicism from Anglicanism Dukes of York Peers of England created by Charles I Dukes of Albany Peers of Scotland created by Charles II
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