Stuart King and Queen: William III – Mary II

William Henry Stuart was born on the 14th November 1650 in the Hague, Netherlands to parents William II of Orange and Mary Stuart.

Mary was born on the 30th April 1662 at St.James Palace, London to parents James II and Anne Hyde.

William Henry Stuart (William III of Orange) married Mary II in 1677.

In 1689 Parliament declared to England, that King James II had abdicated his position as King of England.  His daughter Mary and husband William of Orange were crowned; King William III and Queen Mary II of England, on the 11th April 1689 at Westminster Abbey.

In 1689, a “Declaration of Rights,” had been drawn up by Parliament, thus limiting the monarch’s power, and control of legislation, and taxes came under Parliament.

Jacobite Hylanders rose up in support of James II, victorious at “Killiekrankie,” but defeated in 1689 at “Dunkelds.”

James II, former King of England, attempted to regain his throne, when he was defeated at the “Battle of Boyne,” in 1690.

An Anglo-Dutch naval force, is defeated by the French navy at Beachy Head in 1690.

In 1691, William offer the Scottish Highlanders, a pardon for their part in the Jacobite uprising, in return they sign an allegiance to him.

In 1692, the Campbells kill the MacDonalds at Glencoe, for refusing to sign the oath of allegiance.

Queen Mary II dies of smallpox in 1694, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

In 1697, “Peace of Ryswick,” becomes a turning point, and marks the end of the war with France.

In 1701 an “Act of Settlement” comes into force establishing Hanoverian and Protestant successions to the English throne.

William forms alliances between England, Holland and Austria, preventing a union of French and Spanish crowns in 1701.

King William III dies on the 8th March 1702 at Kensington Palace from pneumonia following a broken collar bone, after falling from his horse, and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Stuart King: James II

James II was born on the 14th October 1633 at St.James Palace to parents Charles I and Henrietta.  He grew up in exile, first in Holland then in France, and served in the French and Spanish forces.

Following Cromwell’s death, and the restoration on the monarchy, when his brother had taken his rightful place as King of England, James returned to England, and was appointed by his brother; King Charles II as Lord High Admiral, and commanded the Royal Navy during the Anglo-Dutch conflict.

In 1660 James married Anne Hyde, she was not of Royal Blood, a commoner, the daughter of the King’s chief minister; Edward Hyde.  She bore him only two children, who survived infancy; Mary who became Queen Mary II and Anne, who became Queen Anne.

In 1670, James converted to Catholicism.

His first wife, Anne died in 1671, and he married Mary of Modena, a fifteen-year-old Italian Catholic princess.  She bore him two children who survived infancy; James and Louise Maria.

In 1673, Parliament not wanting a Catholic successor to the English throne passed the “Test Act” which excluded Catholics from political office.

In 1679, an Exclusion Bill was introduced into Parliament, adding James II, as a practising Catholic, to those excluded from holding political office… Parliament did not want a Catholic King.

Parliament put forward, that James Scott the Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of King Charles II, should be next in line to the throne instead of James, Charles II replied by dissolving Parliament.

King Charles II died on the 6th February 1685, and James ascended to the English throne, and crowned King James II of England on the 23rd April at Westminster Abbey.

Within months of being crowned King, James faced rebellions; The Earl of Argyll, in Scotland and the Duke of Monmouth at the “Battle of Sedgemoor.”  Argyll was executed for his part, and in 1686, Monmouth along with many of his rebels were hanged.

In 1688, James believed in his “Divine Right as King” and believed he had absolute power over his kingdom.  He issued the “Declaration of Indulgence,” thus suspending all laws against Catholic’s and repealed the “Test Act.”  He went further still, by promoting Catholic supporters within Parliament.

His daughter Mary married William of Orange of the Netherlands.  William of Orange, son-in-law to James II was invited to England by leading statesman to restore English liberties; Protestantism and Democracy.

William of Orange landed at Torbay on the 5th November 1688, in 463 ships with no opposition from the English Royal Navy.  His army of 14,000 men grew to 20,000 men by the time they reached London.

Anne, the daughter of King James II, defected to William of Orange.

James tossed the Great Seal of the Realm into the River Thames… he had abdicated his position as England’s King, and went into exile in France.

King William III and Queen Mary II, the daughter of James II were crowned King and Queen of England in 1689.

James attempted to regain his throne, landing in Ireland, but was defeated at the “Battle of Boyne,” in 1690.

James II lived the rest of his life in exile, until he died on the 6th September 1701, at St.Germain-en-laye in France, and buried at the Chateau de Saint Germain-en-laye.

Stuart King: King Charles II

King Charles II was born on the 29th May 1630, at St.James Palace to parents Charles I and Henrietta Maria.  He ascended to the English throne on the 29th May 1660, by invitation from Parliament, and was crowned King Charles II of England, on the 23rd April 1661 at Westminster Abbey.

The English Civil War, and the execution of an English monarch; Charles I, left a bad taste, events of which were left firmly in the past.

The “Triennial Act” of 1641 was repealed, and Bishops were restored to their seats in Parliament in 1661.

Puritans were given an option in 1662, follow the doctrines as laid down in the Church of England, or leave the church, all as set out in the 1660 “Act of Uniformity and Oblivion.”

In May of 1662, King Charles II married the Portuguese Princess, one Catherine of Braganza, and Queen Catherine bore Charles ne heir’s to the English throne.

Charles had eight mistresses: Lucy Walter, Lady Castlemaine, Lady Portsmouth and Nell Gwyn to name just a few.  His mistresses gave birth to many illegitimate children:

James Scott, the Duke of Monmouth

Charles Fitzcharles, the Earl of Plymouth

Charles Fitzroy, the Duke of Cleveland

Charlotte Lee, the Countess of Lichfield

Henry Fitzroy, the Duke of Grafton

George Fitzroy, the Duke of Northumberland

Charles Beauclerk, the Duke of St.Albans

Charles Lennox, the Duke of Richmond

What he wanted was a legitimate heir to continue the family line, and succeed him, as King of England, sadly that was not to be…

In 1664 English forces seized the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam, and renamed it; New York.  In 1666 the forces of France and Denmark assisted the Dutch, and in 1667, Dutch forces laid siege to England, capturing the Royal Charles, England’s flagship and the sinking of three other ships on the River Medway.  Peace talks commenced in the latter part of 1667.

In 1665, the plague (Black Death) struck England, and some 200,000 are known to have lost their lives in London.  This was followed by the Great Fire of London in 1666, destroying 13,500 houses, 87 churches, and sixteen people lost their lives.

Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to rebuild much of London, including St.Paul’s Cathedral.

In 1670, King Charles II signed the “Secret Treaty of Dover” this stated Charles would become Catholic, and France would side with England against the Dutch.  In return England would receive subsidies from France.

Charles issued a “Declaration of Indulgence,” which suspended penal laws against Catholics, but was forced to withdraw the declaration by Parliament in 1673.

In 1678, Titus Oates alleges a Catholic plot to murder King Charles II, and return England, to a Catholic country.  The allegation involved the Queen and Danby, the Lord Treasurer.

In 1679, attempts were made to remove James II, the Catholic convert and brother of Charles II, as heir apparent to the English throne.

In 1679, the “Habeas Corpus” act was passed through Parliament, which made it illegal to imprison an individual, without trial.

In 1683 the “Rye House Plot” was discovered, that involved the murder of Charles II and his brother James II, returning total rule of England back to Parliament.  Some of the conspirators were executed, others sent into exile.

King Charles II, did as his father had done many times during his reign; dissolved Parliament.

On the 6th February 1685, King Charles II converted to Catholicism, a deathbed conversion, and died at Whitehall Palace, and  buried at Westminster Abbey.

Stuart King : Charles I

Charles I was born on the 19th November 1600, at Dunfermline Palace, Scotland to parents King James I (VI of Scotland) and Anne of Denmark.

In January of 1605, Charles received the title of the Duke of York, and made a Knight of the Bath, knight of the Garter in 1611.

In November of 1612, his brother Henry died from suspected typhoid, and this made him heir apparent to the English crown.  He automatically gained additional titles; Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, and in 1616, Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.

On the 27th March 1625, his father King James I died, and he ascended to the English throne.  On the 2nd February 1626, he was crowned King Charles I of England at Westminster Abbey, without his wife at his side.  She, a Roman Catholic would not participate in a Protestant religious ceremony.

His father James I was in favour of a Spanish marriage for Charles with Maria Anna, but Parliament made it clear, they would not approve such a marriage.  So it was, on the 1st May 1625 Charles married Henrietta Maria, daughter of Henry IV of France by proxy in front of Notre Dame de Paris.  On the 13th June 1625 Charles I of England married Henrietta Maria in Canterbury. 

Children:  Charles II, James II & VII, Elizabeth, Anne, Henry,  Duke of Gloucester, Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange.

Charles had informed Parliament, that a marriage to a Roman Catholic would not change religious lifestyle of a Protestant England.  Saying that he added to the French treaty of marriage, that he promised to remove all restraints, upon Catholic subjects residing in England.

Charles I had delayed the opening of his first Parliament, until the second marriage ceremony had taken place on English soil.

Charles believed, much as his father had before him, it was his divine right as King, to rule without interference from Parliament.

In 1625, Charles dissolved Parliament, and again in 1626 as attempts to impeach George Villiers, the Earl of Buckingham over war against Spain and support of French Huguenots.  In May of 1626 the Duke of Buckingham, was nominated as Chancellor of Cambridge University by Charles, showing his trust and support of his friend. 

On the 23rd August, George Villiers, the Earl of Buckingham, known to have had an intimate relationship with James I, but disliked much by Parliament was assassinated.

Charles forces through highly unpopular “Ship Money,” tax to raise funds without the consent of Parliament.  They replied in 1628 by presenting him with the Petition of Right a declaration of the “Rights and Liberties of the Subject,” which under pressure, he had no choice but to abide by its terms.

In 1629 Charles steps forward and dissolves Parliament, and opted to rule as he believes it is his divine right from 1629 – 1640.

The Short Parliament, met in April of 1640, and the main topic, led to their refusal to grant Charles funds, until grievances between the two sides had been ironed out.  A stale mate existed and Parliament was dissolved once again.

In November of 1640, the Long Parliament was assembled, and an Act was passed, preventing the dissolvement of Parliament without consent of all parties.

Charles and Parliament, could not work with each other, they were at odds with each other.  Charles failure of 4th January 1642, of arresting five parliamentary leaders, believed Parliament had become too Puritanical.

Charles I, felt he had no choice, and on the 22nd August 1642, withdrew from London, and declared war on Parliament, raising his standard at Nottingham.  The English Civil War of 1642-1648 had begun.

In October 1642, the Royalists won a tactical victory over Parliamentary forces at the “Battle of Edgehill.”

In 1643 Royalists defeated Parliamentary forces at the “Battle of Chalgrove Field,” and take Bristol.

On the 16th June 1645, Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army defeated Royalist forces.

In April of 1646, Charles barely escapes with his life from the “Siege of Oxford,” surrendering at Newark to the Scottish Army.

In January 1647, Scottish forces handed Charles I, over to Parliamentary forces, and in June Cromwell’s forces escorted him to Hampton Court Palace.  In the November he briefly escapes, and is recaptured and held at Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight.

In January of 1649, a court of justice is convened by the House of Commons, to hear the case against King Charles I.  For, he has been accused of treason against England; pursuing his own objectives, rather than those of England.

Charles refused to plead, in the belief the court was unlawful, and that the monarch, had absolute authority of his kingdom, granted to him by God.

The court challenged the question of sovereign immunity, stating the King of England, was not a person, but an office to govern by the laws of the land.

On the 26th January 1649, the court had found him guilty, and sentenced him to death.  On Tuesday the 30th January 1649, King Charles I of England was beheaded in front of the Banqueting House in Whitehall, London. 

An act of Parliament was passed, on the 30th January 1649, forbidding the automatic succession of the son of Charles I.  On the 7th February, the office of the King had been abolished.

On the 9th February 1649, he was buried in Henry VIII’s vault, in St.George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Stuart King: James I

James I was born on the 19th June 1566 at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland to parents Mary, Queen of Scots and Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley.

On the 29th July 1567, he was crowned King James VI of Scotland, after his mother, Mary Queen of Scots, abdicated the throne in favour of her son.

His father was murdered in 1567, and his mother fled to England, seeking help from the English to reclaim her throne.  She spent her life, as an English prisoner, and was eventually executed for her involvement in plotting against the life of Elizabeth I in 1587.

King James VI of Scotland/ King James I of England married Anne of Denmark by proxy on the 20th August, 1589 then in person on the 23rd November 1589 and again on the 21st January 1590.

Anne bore James eight children, only three survived past infancy:

Henry, the Prince of Wales (19th February 1594 – 6th November 1612).

Elizabeth Stewart (19th August 1596 – 13th February 1662).

King Charles I who became King of England, Scotland and Ireland, (19th November 1600 – 30th January 1649).

On the 24th July 1603 James VI of Scotland ascended to the English throne, following the death of Queen Elizabeth I.  On the 25th July, was crowned King James I of England at Westminster Abbey.

In 1604 King James i imposed a tax on tobacco, proclaiming that smoking is harmful to ones lungs.

In 1605 Guy Fawkes and other Catholic conspirators, attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament; The Gunpowder Plot.  They were betrayed before the fuse could be lit, arrested and executed.

In 1611, the King James version of the Bible, was translated from Greek and Hebrew, into English and published. 

James believed that Kings took their authority from God, but accepted his actions were subject to the laws of the land.  He was often in dispute with Parliament, over the royal finances, as his predecessors have been, before him.

Arabella Stuart married William Seymour in 1611, the nephew of Lady Jane grey without the royal permission of King James I.  Arabella was placed under house arrest and William was sent to the Tower of London.  Arabella’s plotting of their release was foiled; she ended up in the Tower of London, where she died in 1615, and William gained his freedom.

In 1612, Henry the Prince of Wales died from suspected typhoid, and Charles became heir apparent to the English throne.

In 1613, Elizabeth the daughter of King James marries Frederick V, Elector of Palatine, and their descendants in the House of Hanover would eventually ascend, to the English throne.

The Thirty years War (1618-1648), spread across Europe.  James faced with financial issues, summoned Parliament in 1621.  The House of Commons opted to discuss foreign policies, which led to James dissolving Parliament. 

James wanted closer relations with Spain, but Parliament was against the idea.  They saw Spain, a Catholic enemy who could not be trusted.  For Queen Elizabeth I had conflict with Spain, and the attempted English invasion of the Spanish Armada.

In the 1580’s King James publicly kissed Francis Stewart Hepburn, the Earl of Bothwell.  George Villiers was known to have had an intimate relationship with King James, who was appointed the Earl of Buckingham in 1617.

King James I of England who reigned for 22 years and as James VI of Scotland, reigned for 57 years, died on the 27th March 1625, from gout and senility at Theobald’s Park, Herfordshire, and was buried in the Henry VII chapel in Westminster Abbey.