Christmas in Exile

Better exiled than beheaded, I guess. On December 23, 1688, James II of England finally got the hint that he was no longer welcome and fled to Paris. James, a Catholic, was never a particularly popular king, but the people were prepared to tolerate him so long as his Protestant daughters remained his sole heirs. When his wife, Mary of Modena, unexpectedly gave birth to … Continue reading Christmas in Exile

Mary of Modena

On October 5, 1658, in the pretty town of Modena in Italy, Mary Beatrice d’Este, future wife of James II and last Stuart Queen of England, was born. She was the daughter of Alfonso IV, Duke of Modena, and was therefore expected to marry into a European royal family. She was given a thorough education to prepare her for her future role and particularly excelled … Continue reading Mary of Modena

Monmouth’s Rebellion

On July 15, 1685, Monmouth’s Rebellion ended when James Scott, Duke of Monmouth and illegitimate son of Charles II, was executed in London for attempting to depose his uncle, James II, and seize the throne for himself. Monmouth was Charles’s eldest child and was born in Rotterdam in April 1649 while Charles was exiled during the Protectorate. He was handed over to William Crofts, 1st … Continue reading Monmouth’s Rebellion

The Glorious Revolution

On February 13, 1689, Mary Stuart and her husband, William of Orange, got an impressive early Valentine’s Day gift: the English throne. The two were declared co-rulers of the country following the Glorious Revolution, which unseated Mary’s father, James II. James’s relatively short reign ended when William of Orange invaded England at the request of the Immortal Seven (the earls of Danby, Shrewsbury, and Devonshire; Viscount … Continue reading The Glorious Revolution

James II

On February 6, 1685, James II ascended the throne on the death of his elder brother, Charles II. James would be the last Catholic ruler off England; his religion, along with his pro-French politics and desire to be an absolute monarch resulted in him being kicked off the throne and replaced with his oldest daughter, Mary, and her husband, William of Orange. James’s religion and … Continue reading James II