James II of England

  • james ii and vii
    james ii by peter lely.jpg
    portrait by peter lely
    king of england, scotland and ireland
    (more...)
    reign6 february 1685 – 11 december 1688
    coronation23 april 1685
    predecessorcharles ii
    successorswilliam iii & ii and mary ii
    born14 october 1633
    (n.s.: 24 october 1633)
    st. james's palace, london, england
    died16 september 1701 (aged 67)[1] (n.s.)
    château de saint-germain-en-laye, france
    burial
    church of the english benedictines, paris, france[2]
    spouse
    • anne hyde
      (m. 1660; died 1671)
    • mary of modena
      (m. 1673)
    issue
    more...
    • charles, duke of cambridge
    • mary ii, queen of england
    • james, duke of cambridge
    • anne, queen of great britain
    • charles, duke of kendal
    • edgar, duke of cambridge
    • isabel stuart
    • charles, duke of cambridge
    • james francis edward stuart
    • louisa maria stuart
    • illegitimate:
    • henrietta fitzjames
    • james fitzjames, 1st duke of berwick
    • henry fitzjames
    housestuart
    fathercharles i of england, scotland and ireland
    motherhenrietta maria of france
    religion
    • roman catholicism (1668–1701)
    • prev. anglican (1633–1668)
    signaturejames ii and vii's signature

    james ii and vii (14 october 1633o.s. – 16 september 1701[1]) was king of england and ireland as james ii and king of scotland as james vii,[3] from 6 february 1685 until he was deposed in the glorious revolution of 1688. he was the last roman catholic monarch of england, scotland and ireland; his reign is now remembered primarily for struggles over religious tolerance. however, it also involved the principles of absolutism and divine right of kings and his deposition ended a century of political and civil strife by confirming the primacy of parliament over the crown.[4]

    james inherited the thrones of england, ireland and scotland from his elder brother charles ii with widespread support in all three countries, largely based on the principle of divine right or birth.[5] tolerance for his personal catholicism did not apply to it in general and when the english and scottish parliaments refused to pass his measures, james attempted to impose them by decree; it was a political principle, rather than a religious one, that ultimately led to his removal.[6]

    in june 1688, two events turned dissent into a crisis; the first on 10 june was the birth of james's son and heir james francis edward, threatening to create a roman catholic dynasty and excluding his anglican daughter mary and her protestant husband william of orange. the second was the prosecution of the seven bishops for seditious libel; this was viewed as an assault on the church of england and their acquittal on 30 june destroyed his political authority in england. anti-catholic riots in england and scotland now made it seem only his removal as monarch could prevent a civil war.[7]

    leading members of the english political class invited william of orange to assume the english throne; after he landed in brixham 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 the king had "vacated" the english throne and installed william and mary as joint monarchs, establishing the principle that sovereignty 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 by finding that james had "forfeited" the throne and offered it to william and mary. after his defeat at the battle of the boyne in july 1690, james returned to france, where he spent the rest of his life in exile at saint-germain, protected by louis xiv.

  • early life
  • restoration
  • reign
  • glorious revolution
  • later years
  • succession
  • historiography
  • titles, styles, honours, and arms
  • issue
  • ancestry
  • notes
  • references
  • further reading
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James II and VII
James II by Peter Lely.jpg
Portrait by Peter Lely
King of England, Scotland and Ireland
Reign6 February 1685 – 11 December 1688
Coronation23 April 1685
PredecessorCharles II
SuccessorsWilliam III & II and Mary II
Born14 October 1633
(N.S.: 24 October 1633)
St. James's Palace, London, England
Died16 September 1701 (aged 67)[1] (N.S.)
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Burial
Church of the English Benedictines, Paris, France[2]
Spouse
Issue
more...
HouseStuart
FatherCharles I of England, Scotland and Ireland
MotherHenrietta Maria of France
Religion
SignatureJames II and VII's signature

James II and VII (14 October 1633O.S. – 16 September 1701[1]) was King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII,[3] from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He was the last Roman Catholic monarch of England, Scotland and Ireland; his reign is now remembered primarily for struggles over religious tolerance. However, it also involved the principles of absolutism and divine right of kings and his deposition ended a century of political and civil strife by confirming the primacy of Parliament over the Crown.[4]

James inherited the thrones of England, Ireland and Scotland from his elder brother Charles II with widespread support in all three countries, largely based on the principle of divine right or birth.[5] Tolerance for his personal Catholicism did not apply to it in general and when the English and Scottish Parliaments refused to pass his measures, James attempted to impose them by decree; it was a political principle, rather than a religious one, that ultimately led to his removal.[6]

In June 1688, two events turned dissent into a crisis; the first on 10 June was the birth of James's son and heir James Francis Edward, threatening to create a Roman Catholic dynasty and excluding his Anglican daughter Mary and her Protestant husband William of Orange. The second was the prosecution of the Seven Bishops for seditious libel; this was viewed as an assault on the Church of England and their acquittal on 30 June destroyed his political authority in England. Anti-Catholic riots in England and Scotland now made it seem only his removal as monarch could prevent a civil war.[7]

Leading members of the English political class invited William of Orange to assume the English throne; after he landed in Brixham 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 the king had "vacated" the English throne and installed William and Mary as joint monarchs, establishing the principle that sovereignty 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 by finding that James had "forfeited" the throne and offered it to William and Mary. After his defeat at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690, James returned to France, where he spent the rest of his life in exile at Saint-Germain, protected by Louis XIV.