WILLIAM III and MARY II
Born: 14 November 1650
Born: 30 April 1662
William III and Mary II ruled Britain jointly after deposing King
James II in what is known as the Glorious Revolution of
1688. Although Mary was James's daughter, she was a devoted Protestant,
as was her husband, William (Prince of Orange), and many Parliamentarians
and nobles wanted Mary to be monarch instead of her Roman Catholic father.
In the autumn of 1688, after being asked by Parliament to take action against
King James, William arrived in England with an army to depose him. James
fled the country, abdicated, and Mary was invited to take the throne. However,
Mary did not want to rule alone. She felt that her husband should be crowned
instead (he was also a grandchild of King
Charles I). But as William wanted the crown to pass to the next
legitimate heir (which was Mary) and not claim the crown by conquest, a
compromise was reached: Mary and William would rule jointly.
In 1690, Mary's father made an attempt to recover the throne, but was heavily defeated at the Battle of the Boyne. James was hurt by what he saw as a betrayal by his two Protestant daughters (his younger daughter Anne also supported his deposition) and disowned them both. Mary was troubled by her estrangement from her father, but felt it was her duty to put her God, country and husband first.