Wednesday, March 31, 2010
MM Video: King James II of Great Britain
James II was the son of the martyred King Charles I and younger brother of King Charles II. He came to the throne of the 3 kingdoms in 1685 when his brother died with no legitimate heirs. He started out on shaky ground as there had long been attempts by the Protestants at court to have him excluded from the succession following his conversion to Catholicism but his brother refused. James II would be the last Catholic to sit on the British throne. He defeated an attempt at rebellion led by the Duke of Monmouth but he encouraged the wrath of powerful Protestants by his efforts to enact religious toleration and his promotion of Catholics. After the birth of his son he was overthrown in 1688 by a Protestant coup after an invasion by the Dutch led by his son-in-law William of Orange. He tried to restore himself first in the Kingdom of Ireland but was defeated at the epic battle of the Boyne. He spent the rest of his life in exile.