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  1. James II and VII (14 October 1633 O.S. – 16 September 1701) was King of England and Ireland as James II, and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He was the last Catholic monarch of England, Scotland, and Ireland; his reign is now remembered primarily for struggles over ...

    • Early Life
    • Religion
    • Reign
    • Glorious Revolution
    • Act of Toleration
    • Later Years
    • Legacy
    • References

    James, the second surviving son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France, was born at St. James's Palace in 1633 and created Duke of York in 1644. During the English Civil War he stayed in Oxford, a Royalist stronghold. When the city surrendered during the siege of Oxford in 1646, the Duke of York was confined in St James's Palace by parliamentary command. In 1648, he escaped from the Palace, from there he went to The Hague in disguise. When Charles I was executed by the rebels in 1649, monarchists proclaimed the Duke of York's elder brother, Charles, as King Charles II. Charles II was recognized by the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of Ireland, and was crowned King of Scots at Scone, in Scotland, in 1651. He was, however, unable to secure the Crown of England, and consequently fled to France. Like his brother, James sought refuge in France, serving in the French army under Turenne. In 1656, when his brother, Charles, entered into an alliance with Spain—an enemy of Fran...

    James was admitted to the Roman Catholic Church in about 1668 or 1669, although this was kept secret for some time. However, growing fears of Catholic influence at court, led to the introduction by Parliament of a new Test Act in 1673. Under this Act, all civil and military officials were required to take an oath (in which they were required not only to disavow the doctrine of transubstantiation, but also denounce certain practices of the Roman Catholic Church as "superstitious and idolatrous") and receive communionunder the auspices of the Church of England. James refused to perform both actions, instead choosing to relinquish the post of Lord High Admiral. His conversion to Catholicism was now openly known. Charles II opposed the conversion, ordering that James' children be raised as Protestants. Nevertheless, in 1673, he allowed James (whose first wife had died in 1671) to marry the Catholic Mary of Modena. Many English people, distrustful of Catholicism, regarded the new Duchess...

    Charles died sine prole legitima (without legitimate offspring) in 1685, converting to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed. He was succeeded by his brother, who reigned in England and Ireland as James II, and in Scotland as James VII. James was crowned at Westminster Abbeyon April 23, 1685. At first, there was little overt opposition to the new Sovereign. The new Parliament which assembled in May 1685 seemed favorable to James, agreeing to grant him a large income. James, however, faced the Monmouth Rebellion (led by Charles II's illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth). James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth declared himself King on June 20, 1685, but was afterwards defeated at the Battle of Sedgemoor. Monmouth was executed at the Tower of Londonsoon afterwards. The king's judges—most notably, George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys (the "Hanging Judge")—punished the rebels brutally. Judge Jeffreys' Bloody Assizes provoked little comment at the time and were seen by many as an appropriate resp...

    In April 1688, James re-issued the Declaration of Indulgence, subsequently ordering Anglican clergymen to read it in their churches. When the Archbishop of CanterburyWilliam Sancroft and six other bishops (known as the Seven Bishops) submitted a petition requesting the reconsideration of the King's religious policies, they were arrested and tried for seditious libel. Public alarm increased with the birth of a Catholic son and heir, James Francis Edward, to Queen Mary in June, 1688. (Some falsely charged that the son was "suppositious," having been substituted for a stillborn child.) Threatened by a Catholic dynasty, several influential Protestants entered into negotiations with William, Prince of Orange, who was James's son-in-law and nephew. On June 30, 1688, a group of Protestant nobles, known as the "Immortal Seven," requested the Prince of Orange to come to England with an army. By September, it had become clear that William sought to invade. James refused the assistance of the...

    William and Mary signed the 1689 Act of Toleration into law. This gave freedom of worship and belief to Dissenters from the Church of England but not to Roman Catholics thus James' concession to the dissenters remained in place while Catholics lost the rights he had guaranteed.

    With a French army on his side, 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. At James' urging, the Irish Parliament passed an Act for Liberty of Conscience which granted religious freedom to all Catholics and Protestants in Ireland. The king was, however, defeated at the Battle of the Boyne by William III on July 1, 1690. He fled to France after the defeat departing from Kinsale, his alleged cowardice leading to the dissolution of much of his support and earning him the nickname Séamus an Chaca("James the Shit") in Ireland. In France, James was allowed to live in the royal château of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. His supporters were not confined to Catholics. When the Anglican Bishop of Elphin visited him James II said "If, as I trust, what I have suffered has benefitted my soul, then even William of Orange will have proved my best friend." An attempt was made to restore him to the Th...

    James's younger daughter Annesucceeded to the throne when William III died in 1702. (Mary II had died in 1694.) The Act of Settlement 1701 provided that, if the line of succession established in the Bill of Rights were to be extinguished, then the Crown would go to a German cousin, Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and to her Protestant heirs. Thus, when Anne died in 1714 (less than two months after the death of Sophia), the Crown was inherited by George I, Sophia's son, the Elector of Hanover and Anne's second cousin. The son of James II, James Francis Edward Stuart (known to his supporters as "James III and VIII" and to his opponents as the "Old Pretender"), took up the Jacobite cause. He led a rising in Scotland in 1715 shortly after George I's accession, but was defeated. Further risings were also defeated and since the rising of 1745 led by Charles Edward Stuart, no serious attempt to restore the Stuart heir has been made, although some individuals still adhere to the philosophy of...

    Ashley, Maurice. James II. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1977. ISBN 9780816608263
    Belloc, Hilaire. James the Second. Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1928. ISBN 9780836959222
    Clarke, James S., Editor. The Life of James II.London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1816.
    Davis, Richard B., Editor. William Fitzhugh and His Chesapeake World, 1676-1701.Chapel Hill: The Virginia Historical Society by University of North Carolina Press, 1963.
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  2. James II (r.1685-1688) Born in 1633 and named after his grandfather James I, James II grew up in exile after the Civil War (he served in the armies of Louis XIV) and, after his brother's restoration, commanded the Royal Navy from 1660 to 1673. James converted to Catholicism in 1669. Despite his conversion, James II succeeded to the throne ...

  3. Favoritism Forbidden. 2 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand ...

  4. www.bbc.co.uk › history › historic_figuresBBC - History - James II

    Later that year James faced rebellion, led by Charles II's illegitimate son the Duke of Monmouth. The rebellion was easily crushed after the battle of Sedgemoor in 1685, and savage punishments ...

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