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 Lumley; the Bishop of London; Edward Russell; and Henry Sydney) in November 1688. The English army and navy quickly joined William’s side, leaving James with no choice but to flee. William deliberately allowed his father-in-law to escape to France, where he lived out the remainder of his life.

A Convention Parliament that gathered in January 1689 debated the roles the new monarchs should take. Some thought that Mary should rule alone, while others favored a co-monarchy. By February 13, they had reached an agreement and issued the Declaration of Right, which deemed that James, by fleeing, had abdicated his throne. The vacant throne was offered to William and Mary, who would rule jointly. They were crowned by the Bishop of London on April 11. On the same day, the Conventions of the Estates of Scotland finally agreed that James was no longer King of Scotland and that William and Mary would be joint rulers of that realm as well. They formally accepted the Scottish crown one month later. Mary ruled until her death on December 28, 1694; William ruled on his own as king until he died in 1702, at which time the crown passed to Mary’s younger sister, Anne.



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