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James II of England

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James II & VII[a]
Portrait by Peter Lely
King of England, Scotland, and Ireland
Reign6 February 1685 – 23 December 1688
Coronation23 April 1685
PredecessorCharles II
SuccessorsWilliam III & II and Mary II
Born14 October 1633
(N.S.: 24 October 1633)
St James's Palace, London, England
Died16 September 1701 (aged 67) (N.S.)
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Church of the English Benedictines, Paris, France
(m. 1660; died 1671)
(m. 1673)
FatherCharles I of England
MotherHenrietta Maria of France
SignatureJames II & VII[a]'s signature
A painting of James II of England

James II and VII (14 October 1633 – 16 September 1701) was king of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1685 to 1688. He was King James II in England and Ireland, and King James VII in Scotland. He was also Duke of Normandy from 31 December 1660. He lost his kingdoms in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He did not succeed in taking them back in a war, and he spent the rest of his life in France.

He was the last Roman Catholic king in the British Isles. Some of his people did not like his religious ideas, leading a group of them to disobey and fight against him. This was called the Glorious Revolution in England and Scotland. King James and his son, James Francis Edward went into exile. The king was replaced by his Protestant daughter, Queen Mary II, and her husband King William III and II. They became rulers in 1689.

The belief that James, not William III or Mary II, was the one true ruler became known as Jacobitism (from Jacobus or Iacobus, Latin for James). James made one serious attempt to recover his throne when he landed in Ireland in 1689. After his defeat at the Battle of the Boyne in the summer of 1690, he returned to France, living the rest of his life under the protection of King Louis XIV. His son James Francis Edward Stuart (The Old Pretender) and his grandson Charles Edward Stuart (The Young Pretender and Bonnie Prince Charlie) attempted to restore the Jacobite line after James's death, but failed.

Issue[change | change source]

Name Birth Death Notes
By Anne Hyde
Charles, Duke of Cambridge 22 October 1660 5 May 1661  
Mary II 30 April 1662 28 December 1694 married 1677, William III, Prince of Orange; no issue
James, Duke of Cambridge 11 or 12 July 1663 20 June 1667  
Anne 6 February 1665 1 August 1714 married 1683, Prince George of Denmark; no surviving issue
Charles, Duke of Kendal 4 July 1666 22 May 1667  
Edgar, Duke of Cambridge 14 September 1667 8 June 1671  
Henrietta 13 January 1669 15 November 1669  
Catherine 9 February 1671 5 December 1671  
By Mary of Modena
Unnamed child March or May 1674 miscarriage
Catherine Laura 10 January 1675 3 October 1675 died of convulsions.[1]
Unnamed child October 1675 stillborn
Isabel (or Isabella) 28 August 1676 2 or 4 March 1681 buried in Westminster Abbey on 4 March (Old Style) as "The Lady Isabella, daughter to the Duke of York"[2]
Charles, Duke of Cambridge 7 November 1677 12 December 1677 died of smallpox[1]
Elizabeth c. 1678  
Unnamed child February 1681 stillborn
Charlotte Maria 16 August 1682 16 October 1682 died of convulsions[1] and buried in Westminster Abbey on 8 October (Old Style) as "The Lady Charlott-Marie, daughter to the Duke of York"[3]
Unnamed child October 1683 stillborn
Unnamed child May 1684 miscarriage
James, Prince of Wales "the Old Pretender" 10 June 1688 1 January 1766 married 1719, Clementina Sobieska; had issue
Louisa Maria Teresa 28 June 1692 18 April 1712  
By Arabella Churchill
Henrietta FitzJames 1667 3 April 1730 Married first Henry Waldegrave; had issue. Married secondly Piers Butler, 3rd Viscount Galmoye; no issue.
James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick 21 August 1670 12 June 1734 Married firstly Honora Bourke and had issue. Married secondly Ana Bulkely and had issue.[4]
Henry FitzJames, 1st Duke of Albemarle August 1673 December 1702 Married Marie Gabrielle d'Audibert de Lussan; had issue.
Arabella FitzJames 1674 7 November 1704 Became a nun under the name Ignatia.[4]
By Catherine Sedley
Catherine Darnley c. 1681 13 March 1743 Alleged daughter. Married firstly, James Annesley, 3rd Earl of Anglesey and had issue. Married secondly, John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby and had issue.[4]
James Darnley 1684 22 April 1685
Charles Darnley Died young.[4]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. In Scotland, he was called James VII, as there were six previous kings of that nation named James.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Weir, 260
  2. J. L. Chester, The Marriage, Baptismal, and Burial Registers of the Collegiate Church or Abbey of St. Peter, Westminster, Volume 10 (Harleian Society, 1876), p. 201
  3. Chester (1876), p. 206
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Weir, 263