James II and VII


The Glorious Revolution

William of Orange, James's nephew and the husband of his daughter Mary, now displaced by her brother in the succession, was in correspondence with many of the disaffected Protestants in England. They urged him to lead an army into the country to redress their grievances. William landed at Torbay in Devon on 5th November. Plymouth surrendered to William, which heralded further uprisings against James in Cheshire and the north.

Treachery in the royal ranks was rife and many hastened to desert James' cause, including John Churchill, appointed second-in-command of the King's army. James' younger daughter Anne had also left him, accompanied by Sarah Churchill and escorted by the Bishop of London. This was a great emotional blow to the King who had been a fond and indulgent father to both of his daughters.

Having already sent his Queen and the new Prince of Wales to safety in France, James resolved to flee to join them although advised that leaving the country would be construed as abdication. William was more than happy for him to do so as it rid him of the embarrassing problem of what to do with his deposed father-in-law. James reached France on Christmas Day 1688, where he was welcomed by his first cousin, King Louis XIV, at Versailles. William and Mary were invited to accept the throne vacated by her father.

Killiecrankie Pass, ScotlandPresbyterian Scotland also supported William. John Graham of Claverhouse, known to history as Bonnie Dundee, received a commission from the exiled King James to raise the Catholic Highlanders, they descended on the government forces at the Killiecrankie Pass. Dundee won a victory for James, but died a few days later of wounds sustained in the battle.

The Years of Exile

England's new monarch, William III, declared war on his detested lifelong enemy, the Catholic Louis XIV of France. Louis saw that it was to the benefit of France to keep the English and Dutch forces preoccupied by the Jacobites, as James' supporters came to be known.

st. GermainThe French King provided James with a pension and the use of the Chateau of St. Germain-en Laye. James deteriorated rapidly, both mentally and physically after his flight from England and was now only a pale shadow of his former self, he looked weary and aged. Louis was prepared to offer James enough support to ensure that William was kept busy on a second front.

James II set sail for Ireland where his supporter, Tyrconnel, had already built up an army of Irish. He progressed from Cork to Dublin and met with some initial success. William landed at Carrickfergus in June 1690 and met his uncle's army at the Boyne. William was wounded in the early stages of the battle but soon put the Irish troops to flight. James himself was forced into ignominious flight back to France.

Two years after the Boyne, Louis again committed French support to James cause. The intended invasion fleet, while waiting for favourable winds to sail, was attacked in harbour by the English and most of the ships and supplies went up in flames. Dogged by ill-luck, this further defeat at La Hague was the end of James' hopes to recover the thrones of England and Scotland.

Mary of Modena was delivered of a second child in exile in 1692, a daughter, Louisa Mary, whom James called his solace The depressed James was now totally obsessed with religion and spent most of his time at his devotions or visiting the convent of La Trappe.

In August, 1701, aged sixty-eight, James collapsed whilst hearing mass. His small court crowded round to wait for the end. Three weeks later it came. James died of a brain haemorrhage. He was buried in France at St.Germaine. Louis XIV officially recognised James' son as King James III of England and VIII of Scotland after his death.

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