William III of England

William III of England

Overview
William III & II was a sovereign Prince of Orange
Prince of Orange
Prince of Orange is a title of nobility, originally associated with the Principality of Orange, in what is now southern France. In French it is la Principauté d'Orange....

 of the House of Orange-Nassau
House of Orange-Nassau
The House of Orange-Nassau , a branch of the European House of Nassau, has played a central role in the political life of the Netherlands — and at times in Europe — since William I of Orange organized the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule, which after the Eighty Years' War...

 by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange over Holland, Zeeland
Zeeland
Zeeland , also called Zealand in English, is the westernmost province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg. With a population of about 380,000, its area is about...

, Utrecht
Utrecht (province)
Utrecht is the smallest province of the Netherlands in terms of area, and is located in the centre of the country. It is bordered by the Eemmeer in the north, Gelderland in the east, the river Rhine in the south, South Holland in the west, and North Holland in the northwest...

, Guelders
Guelders
Guelders or Gueldres is the name of a historical county, later duchy of the Holy Roman Empire, located in the Low Countries.-Geography:...

, and Overijssel
Overijssel
Overijssel is a province of the Netherlands in the central eastern part of the country. The region has a NUTS classification of NL21. The province's name means "Lands across river IJssel". The capital city of Overijssel is Zwolle and the largest city is Enschede...

 of the Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland
Monarchy of Ireland
A monarchical polity has existed in Ireland during three periods of its history, finally ending in 1801. The designation King of Ireland and Queen of Ireland was used during these periods...

. By coincidence, his regnal number (III) was the same for both Orange and England.
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Unanswered Questions
Timeline

1677   The future Mary II of England marries William, Prince of Orange. They would later jointly reign as William and Mary.

1687   The city council of Amsterdam votes to support William of Orange's invasion of England, which became the Glorious Revolution.

1688   Glorious Revolution begins: William of Orange lands at Brixham.

1688   The Glorious Revolution: William of Orange captures Exeter.

1689   William and Mary are proclaimed co-rulers of England.

1689   William III and Mary II are crowned as joint sovereigns of Britain.

1689   King William's War: William III of England joins the League of Augsburg starting a war with France.

1690   Battle of the Boyne (Gregorian calendar) – The armies of William III defeat those of the former James II.

1691   Battle of Aughrim (Julian calendar) – The decisive victory of William III of England's forces in Ireland.

1692   Massacre of Glencoe: About 78 Macdonalds at Glen Coe, Scotland are killed early in the morning for not promptly pledging allegiance to the new king, William of Orange.

 
Quotations

Can this last long?

Famous last words|Last words, 19 March, 1702, when his doctor told him that he was ill.
Encyclopedia
William III & II was a sovereign Prince of Orange
Prince of Orange
Prince of Orange is a title of nobility, originally associated with the Principality of Orange, in what is now southern France. In French it is la Principauté d'Orange....

 of the House of Orange-Nassau
House of Orange-Nassau
The House of Orange-Nassau , a branch of the European House of Nassau, has played a central role in the political life of the Netherlands — and at times in Europe — since William I of Orange organized the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule, which after the Eighty Years' War...

 by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange over Holland, Zeeland
Zeeland
Zeeland , also called Zealand in English, is the westernmost province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg. With a population of about 380,000, its area is about...

, Utrecht
Utrecht (province)
Utrecht is the smallest province of the Netherlands in terms of area, and is located in the centre of the country. It is bordered by the Eemmeer in the north, Gelderland in the east, the river Rhine in the south, South Holland in the west, and North Holland in the northwest...

, Guelders
Guelders
Guelders or Gueldres is the name of a historical county, later duchy of the Holy Roman Empire, located in the Low Countries.-Geography:...

, and Overijssel
Overijssel
Overijssel is a province of the Netherlands in the central eastern part of the country. The region has a NUTS classification of NL21. The province's name means "Lands across river IJssel". The capital city of Overijssel is Zwolle and the largest city is Enschede...

 of the Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland
Monarchy of Ireland
A monarchical polity has existed in Ireland during three periods of its history, finally ending in 1801. The designation King of Ireland and Queen of Ireland was used during these periods...

. By coincidence, his regnal number (III) was the same for both Orange and England. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is informally known in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 and Scotland as "King Billy". In what became known as the "Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

", on 5 November 1688 William invaded England in an action that ultimately deposed King James II & VII
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

 and won him the crowns of England, Scotland and Ireland. In the British Isles
British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

, William ruled jointly with his wife, Mary II
Mary II of England
Mary II was joint Sovereign of England, Scotland, and Ireland with her husband and first cousin, William III and II, from 1689 until her death. William and Mary, both Protestants, became king and queen regnant, respectively, following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the deposition of...

, until her death on 28 December 1694. The period of their joint reign is often referred to as "William and Mary
William and Mary
The phrase William and Mary usually refers to the coregency over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, of King William III & II and Queen Mary II...

".

A Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

, William participated in several wars against the powerful Catholic king of France, Louis XIV
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

, in coalition with Protestant and Catholic powers in Europe. Many Protestants heralded him as a champion of their faith. Largely because of that reputation, William was able to take the British crowns when many were fearful of a revival of Catholicism under James. William's victory over James at the Battle of the Boyne
Battle of the Boyne
The Battle of the Boyne was fought in 1690 between two rival claimants of the English, Scottish and Irish thronesthe Catholic King James and the Protestant King William across the River Boyne near Drogheda on the east coast of Ireland...

 in 1690 is commemorated
The Twelfth
The Twelfth is a yearly Protestant celebration held on 12 July. It originated in Ireland during the 18th century. It celebrates the Glorious Revolution and victory of Protestant king William of Orange over Catholic king James II at the Battle of the Boyne...

 by the Orange Institution
Orange Institution
The Orange Institution is a Protestant fraternal organisation based mainly in Northern Ireland and Scotland, though it has lodges throughout the Commonwealth and United States. The Institution was founded in 1796 near the village of Loughgall in County Armagh, Ireland...

 in Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland to this day. His reign marked the beginning of the transition from the personal rule of the Stuarts
House of Stuart
The House of Stuart is a European royal house. Founded by Robert II of Scotland, the Stewarts first became monarchs of the Kingdom of Scotland during the late 14th century, and subsequently held the position of the Kings of Great Britain and Ireland...

 to the more Parliament-centred rule of the House of Hanover
House of Hanover
The House of Hanover is a deposed German royal dynasty which has ruled the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg , the Kingdom of Hanover, the Kingdom of Great Britain, the Kingdom of Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

.

Early life



Birth and family


William Henry of Orange was born in The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

 in the Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 on 4 November 1650. He was the only child of stadtholder
Stadtholder
A Stadtholder A Stadtholder A Stadtholder (Dutch: stadhouder [], "steward" or "lieutenant", literally place holder, holding someones place, possibly a calque of German Statthalter, French lieutenant, or Middle Latin locum tenens...

 William II, Prince of Orange, and Mary, Princess Royal
Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange
Mary, Princess Royal, Princess of Orange and Countess of Nassau was the eldest daughter of King Charles I of England, Scotland, and Ireland and his queen, Henrietta Maria of France...

. Mary was the eldest daughter of King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

, and sister of King Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 and King James II & VII
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

.

Eight days before William's birth, his father died from smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

; thus William was the Sovereign Prince of Orange
Principality of Orange
The Principality of Orange was a feudal state in Provence, in the south of modern-day France, on the left bank of the River Rhone north of the city of Avignon....

 from the moment of his birth. Immediately, a conflict ensued between the Princess Royal
Princess Royal
Princess Royal is a style customarily awarded by a British monarch to his or her eldest daughter. The style is held for life, so a princess cannot be given the style during the lifetime of another Princess Royal...

 and William II's mother, Amalia of Solms-Braunfels
Amalia of Solms-Braunfels
Amalia of Solms-Braunfels , was a regent of Orange. She was the wife of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange. She was the daughter of John Albert I of Solms-Braunfels and Agnes of Sayn-Wittgenstein.-Childhood:...

, over the name to be given to the infant. Mary wanted to name him Charles after her brother, but her mother-in-law insisted on giving him the name William or Willem to bolster his prospects of becoming stadtholder. William II had appointed his wife as his son's guardian in his will; however the document remained unsigned at William II's death and was void. On 13 August 1651 the Dutch Hoge Raad (Supreme Council) ruled that guardianship would be shared between his mother, his paternal grandmother and Frederick William
Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg
|align=right|Frederick William was Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia – and thus ruler of Brandenburg-Prussia – from 1640 until his death. A member of the House of Hohenzollern, he is popularly known as the "Great Elector" because of his military and political prowess...

, the Elector of Brandenburg, whose wife, Louise Henriette, was his father's eldest sister.

Childhood and education


William's mother showed little personal interest in her son, sometimes being absent for years, and had always deliberately kept herself apart from Dutch society. William's education was first laid in the hands of several Dutch governesses, and some of English descent, including Walburg Howard. From April 1656, the prince received daily instruction in the Reformed religion
Reformed churches
The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations characterized by Calvinist doctrines. They are descended from the Swiss Reformation inaugurated by Huldrych Zwingli but developed more coherently by Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger and especially John Calvin...

 from the Calvinist preacher Cornelis Trigland, a follower of the Contra-Remonstrant
Franciscus Gomarus
Franciscus Gomarus , was a Dutch theologian, a strict Calvinist and opponent of the teaching of Jacobus Arminius , which was formally judged at the Synod of Dort .-Life:His parents, having embraced the principles of the Reformation, emigrated to the Palatinate in 1578, in order...

 theologian Gisbertus Voetius
Gisbertus Voetius
Gisbertus Voetius was a Dutch Calvinist theologian.-Life:...

. The ideal education for William was described in Discours sur la nourriture de S. H. Monseigneur le Prince d'Orange, a short treatise, perhaps by one of William's tutors, Constantijn Huygens
Constantijn Huygens
Constantijn Huygens , was a Dutch Golden Age poet and composer. He was secretary to two Princes of Orange: Frederick Henry and William II, and the father of the scientist Christiaan Huygens.-Biography:...

. In these lessons, the prince was taught that he was predestined
Predestination (Calvinism)
The Calvinistic doctrine of predestination is a doctrine of Calvinism which deals with the question of the control God exercises over the world...

 to become an instrument of Divine Providence
Divine Providence
In Christian theology, divine providence, or simply providence, is God's activity in the world. " Providence" is also used as a title of God exercising His providence, and then the word are usually capitalized...

, fulfilling the historical destiny of the House of Orange.

From early 1659, William spent seven years at the University of Leiden for a formal education, under the guidance of ethics professor Hendrik Bornius (though never officially enrolling as a student). While residing in the Prinsenhof at Delft
Delft
Delft is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland , the Netherlands. It is located between Rotterdam and The Hague....

, William had a small personal retinue including Hans Willem Bentinck
William Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland
Hans William Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland, Baron Bentinck of Diepenheim and Schoonheten, KG, PC was a Dutch and English nobleman who became in an early stage the favourite of William, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder in the Netherlands, and future King of England. He was steady, sensible, modest...

, and a new governor: Frederick Nassau de Zuylenstein, the illegitimate son of stadtholder Frederick Henry of Orange. He was taught French by Samuel Chappuzeau
Samuel Chappuzeau
Samuel Chappuzeau was a French scholar, author, poet and playwright whose best-known work today is Le Théâtre François, a description of French Theatre in the 17th century....

 (who was dismissed by William's grandmother after the death of his mother).

Grand Pensionary
Grand Pensionary
The Grand Pensionary was the most important Dutch official during the time of the United Provinces. In theory he was only a civil servant of the Estates of the dominant province among the Seven United Provinces: the county of Holland...

 Johan de Witt
Johan de Witt
Johan de Witt, heer van Zuid- en Noord-Linschoten, Snelrewaard, Hekendorp and IJsselveere was a key figure in Dutch politics in the mid 17th century, when its flourishing sea trade in a period of globalization made the United Provinces a leading European power during the Dutch Golden Age...

 and his uncle Cornelis de Graeff
Cornelis de Graeff
Cornelis de Graeff, also Cornelis de Graeff van Polsbroek was the most illustrious member of the De Graeff family. He was a mayor of Amsterdam from the Dutch Golden Age and a powerful Amsterdam regent after the sudden death of stadholder William II of Orange...

 pushed the States of Holland
States of Holland
The States of Holland and West Frisia were the representation of the two Estates to the court of the Count of Holland...

 to take charge of William's education. This was to ensure he would acquire the skills to serve in a future—though undetermined—state function; the States acted on 25 September 1660. This first involvement of the authorities did not last long. On 23 December 1660, when William was ten years old, his mother died of smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

 at Whitehall Palace, London while visiting her brother King Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

. In her will, Mary requested that Charles look after William's interests, and Charles now demanded the States of Holland end their interference. To appease Charles, they complied on 30 September 1661. In 1661, Zuylenstein began to work for Charles. He induced William to write letters to Charles asking him to help William become stadtholder someday. After his mother's death, William's education and guardianship became a point of contention between his dynasty's supporters
Orangism (Netherlands)
Orangism is a monarchist political support for the House of Orange-Nassau as monarchy of the Netherlands. It played a significant role in the political history of the Netherlands since the Dutch revolt...

 and the advocates of a more republican Netherlands.

The Dutch authorities did their best at first to ignore these intrigues, but in the Second Anglo-Dutch War
Second Anglo-Dutch War
The Second Anglo–Dutch War was part of a series of four Anglo–Dutch Wars fought between the English and the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries for control over the seas and trade routes....

 one of Charles's peace conditions was the improvement of the position of his nephew. As a countermeasure in 1666, when William was sixteen, the States of Holland officially made him a ward of the government, or a "Child of State". All pro-English courtiers, including Zuylenstein, were removed from William's company. William begged De Witt to allow Zuylenstein to stay, but he refused. De Witt, the leading politician of the Republic, took William's education into his own hands, instructing him weekly in state matters—and joining him in a regular game of real tennis
Real tennis
Real tennis – one of several games sometimes called "the sport of kings" – is the original indoor racquet sport from which the modern game of lawn tennis , is descended...

.

Early offices




Exclusion from stadtholdership



At William's father's death, the provinces had suspended the office of stadtholder. The Treaty of Westminster
Treaty of Westminster (1654)
The Treaty of Westminster was signed on 8 May 1654, which ended the First Anglo-Dutch War . Based on the terms of the accord, the United Provinces recognized Oliver Cromwell's Navigation Acts, which required that imports to the Commonwealth of England must be carried in English ships, or ships from...

, which ended the First Anglo-Dutch War
First Anglo-Dutch War
The First Anglo–Dutch War was the first of the four Anglo–Dutch Wars. It was fought entirely at sea between the navies of the Commonwealth of England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands. Caused by disputes over trade, the war began with English attacks on Dutch merchant shipping, but...

, had a secret annexe attached on demand of Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

: the Act of Seclusion
Act of Seclusion
The Act of Seclusion is a secret annex in the Treaty of Westminster between the United Provinces and the Commonwealth of England in which William III, Prince of Orange, was excluded from the office of Stadtholder...

, which forbade the province of Holland to appoint a member of the House of Orange as stadtholder. After the English Restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

, the Act of Seclusion, which had not remained a secret for very long, was declared void as the English Commonwealth (with which the treaty had been concluded) no longer existed. In 1660, Mary and Amalia tried to convince several provincial States to designate William as their future stadtholder, but they all initially refused.

In 1667, as William III approached the age of eighteen, the Orangist party again attempted to bring him to power by securing for him the offices of stadtholder and Captain-General. To prevent the restoration of the influence of the House of Orange, De Witt allowed the pensionary of Haarlem
Haarlem
Haarlem is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of North Holland, the northern half of Holland, which at one time was the most powerful of the seven provinces of the Dutch Republic...

, Gaspar Fagel
Gaspar Fagel
Gaspar Fagel was a Dutch statesman, writer and quasi-diplomat who authored correspondence from and on behalf of William III, Prince of Orange during the English Revolution of 1688.-Biography:...

, to induce the States of Holland to issue the Perpetual Edict (1667)
Perpetual Edict (1667)
The Perpetual Edict of August 5, 1667 was a resolution of the States of Holland in which they abolished the office of Stadtholder in the province of Holland...

. The Edict declared that the Captain-General or Admiral-General of the Netherlands could not serve as stadtholder in any province. Even so, William's supporters sought ways to enhance his prestige, and on 19 September 1668, the States of Zeeland received him as First Noble. To receive this honour, William had to escape the attention of his state tutors and travel secretly to Middelburg
Middelburg
Middelburg is a municipality and a city in the south-western Netherlands and the capital of the province of Zeeland. It is situated in the Midden-Zeeland region. It has a population of about 48,000.- History of Middelburg :...

. A month later, Amalia allowed William to manage his own household and declared him to be of majority age.

The province of Holland, the center of anti-Orangism, abolished the office of stadtholder and four other provinces followed suit in March 1670, establishing the so-called "Harmony". De Witt demanded an oath from each Holland regent
Regenten
In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, the regenten were the rulers of the Dutch Republic, the leaders of the Dutch cities or the heads of organisations . Though not formally a hereditary "class", they were de facto "patricians", comparable to that ancient Roman class...

 (city council member) to uphold the Edict; all but one complied. William saw all this as a defeat, but in fact this arrangement was a compromise: De Witt would have preferred to ignore the prince completely, but now his eventual rise to the office of supreme army commander was implicit. De Witt further conceded that William would be admitted as a member of the Raad van State, the Council of State, then the generality organ administering the defence budget. William was introduced to the council on 31 May 1670 with full voting powers, despite De Witt's attempts to limit his role to that of an advisor.

Conflict with republicans


In November 1670, William obtained permission to travel to England to urge Charles to pay back at least a part of the 2,797,859 guilder debt the House of Stuart owed the House of Orange. Charles was unable to pay, but William agreed to reduce the amount owed to 1,800,000 guilder. Charles found his nephew to be a dedicated Calvinist
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

 and patriotic Dutchman, and reconsidered his desire to show him the Secret treaty of Dover
Secret treaty of Dover
The Treaty of Dover, also known as the Secret Treaty of Dover, was a treaty between England and France signed at Dover on June 1 in 1670. It required France to assist England in the king's aim that it would rejoin the Roman Catholic Church and England to assist France in her war of conquest...

 with France, directed at destroying the Dutch Republic and installing William as "sovereign" of a Dutch rump state
Rump state
A rump state is the remnant of a once-larger government, left with limited powers or authority after a disaster, invasion, military occupation, secession or partial overthrowing of a government. In the last case, a government stops short of going in exile because it still controls part of its...

. In addition to differing political outlooks, William found that Charles's and James's lifestyles differed from his own, being more concerned with drinking, gambling, and cavorting with mistresses.

The following year, the Republic's security deteriorated quickly as an Anglo-French attack became imminent. In view of the threat, the States of Gelderland
Gelderland
Gelderland is the largest province of the Netherlands, located in the central eastern part of the country. The capital city is Arnhem. The two other major cities, Nijmegen and Apeldoorn have more inhabitants. Other major regional centers in Gelderland are Ede, Doetinchem, Zutphen, Tiel, Wijchen,...

 wanted William to be appointed Captain-General of the Dutch States Army
Dutch States Army
The Dutch States Army was the army of the Dutch Republic. It was usually called this, because it was formally the army of the States-General of the Netherlands, the sovereign power of that federal republic...

 as soon as possible, despite his youth and inexperience. On 15 December 1671 the States of Utrecht
Utrecht (province)
Utrecht is the smallest province of the Netherlands in terms of area, and is located in the centre of the country. It is bordered by the Eemmeer in the north, Gelderland in the east, the river Rhine in the south, South Holland in the west, and North Holland in the northwest...

 made this their official policy. On 19 January 1672 the States of Holland made a counterproposal: to appoint William for just a single campaign. The prince refused this and on 25 February a compromise was reached: an appointment by the States-General of the Netherlands
States-General of the Netherlands
The States-General of the Netherlands is the bicameral legislature of the Netherlands, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The parliament meets in at the Binnenhof in The Hague. The archaic Dutch word "staten" originally related to the feudal classes in which medieval...

 for one summer, followed by a permanent appointment on his twenty-second birthday. Meanwhile, William had written a secret letter to Charles in January 1672 asking his uncle to exploit the situation by exerting pressure on the States-General to appoint William stadtholder. In return, William would ally the Republic with England and serve Charles's interests as much as his "honour and the loyalty due to this state" allowed. Charles took no action on the proposal, and continued his war plans with his French ally.

"Disaster year": 1672


For the Dutch Republic, 1672 proved calamitous, becoming known as the "disaster year"
Rampjaar
The rampjaar was the year 1672 in Dutch history. In that year,the Republic of the Seven United Provinces was after the outbreak of the Franco-Dutch War and the Third Anglo-Dutch War attacked by England, France, and the prince-electors Bernhard von Galen, bishop of Münster and Maximilian Henry of...

 (Dutch: rampjaar) because of the Franco-Dutch War
Franco-Dutch War
The Franco-Dutch War, often called simply the Dutch War was a war fought by France, Sweden, the Bishopric of Münster, the Archbishopric of Cologne and England against the United Netherlands, which were later joined by the Austrian Habsburg lands, Brandenburg and Spain to form a quadruple alliance...

 and the Third Anglo-Dutch War
Third Anglo-Dutch War
The Third Anglo–Dutch War or Third Dutch War was a military conflict between England and the Dutch Republic lasting from 1672 to 1674. It was part of the larger Franco-Dutch War...

 in which the Netherlands were invaded by France under Louis XIV
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

, England, Münster
Münster
Münster is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the northern part of the state and is considered to be the cultural centre of the Westphalia region. It is also capital of the local government region Münsterland...

, and Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

. Although the Anglo-French fleet was disabled by the Battle of Solebay
Battle of Solebay
The naval Battle of Solebay took place on 28 May Old Style, 7 June New Style 1672 and was the first naval battle of the Third Anglo-Dutch War.-The battle:...

, in June the French army quickly overran the provinces of Gelderland and Utrecht. William on 14 June withdrew with the remnants of his field army into Holland, where the States had ordered the flooding of the Dutch Water Line on 8 June. Louis XIV, believing the war was over, began negotiations to extract as large a sum of money from the Dutch as possible. The presence of a large French army in the heart of the Republic caused a general panic, and the people turned against de Witt and his allies.

On 4 July the States of Holland appointed William stadtholder, and he took the oath five days later. The next day, a special envoy from Charles, Lord Arlington
Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington
Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington KG, PC was an English statesman.- Background and early life :He was the son of Sir John Bennet of Dawley, Middlesex, and of Dorothy Crofts. He was the younger brother of John Bennet, 1st Baron Ossulston; his sister was Elizabeth Bennet who married Robert Kerr,...

, met with William in Nieuwerbrug
Nieuwerbrug
Nieuwerbrug is a town in the Dutch province of South Holland. It is a part of the former municipality of Bodegraven, and lies about five kilometres west of Woerden....

. He offered to make William Sovereign Prince of Holland in exchange for his capitulation—whereas a stadtholder was a mere civil servant. When William refused, Arlington threatened that William would witness the end of the republic's existence. William made his famous answer: "There is one way to avoid this: to die defending it in the last ditch". On 7 July, the inundations were complete and the further advance of the French army was effectively blocked. On 16 July Zeeland offered the stadtholderate to William.

Johan de Witt had been unable to function as Grand Pensionary
Grand Pensionary
The Grand Pensionary was the most important Dutch official during the time of the United Provinces. In theory he was only a civil servant of the Estates of the dominant province among the Seven United Provinces: the county of Holland...

 after having been wounded by an attempt on his life on 21 June. On 15 August William published a letter from Charles, in which the English King stated that he had made war because of the aggression of the de Witt faction. The people thus incited, de Witt and his brother, Cornelis
Cornelis de Witt
Cornelis de Witt was a Dutch politician.-Biography:Cornelis de Witt was a member of the old Dutch patrician family De Witt. He was born on 15 June 1623 in Dordrecht, Holland, Dutch Republic...

, were murdered by an Orangist civil militia in The Hague on 20 August. After this William replaced many of the Dutch regents with his followers.

Though William's complicity in the lynching has never been proved (and some 19th century Dutch historians have made an effort to disprove that he was an accessory before the fact) he thwarted attempts to prosecute the ringleaders, and even rewarded some, like Hendrik Verhoeff
Hendrik Verhoeff
Hendrik Verhoeff was a silversmith and schutter from The Hague who played a leading role in the assassination of Cornelis- and Johan de Witt on August 20 1672....

, with money, and others, like Johan van Banchem
Johan van Banchem
Johan van Banchem was one of the leaders of the lynching of Johan de Witt and Cornelis de Witt on August 20, 1672. He was rewarded for this crime with an appointment as baljuw of The Hague by Stadtholder William III. After a few years in this function he was arrested and convicted for gross abuse...

 and Johan Kievit
Johan Kievit
Johan Kievit was an Orangist Rotterdam Regent, who may have been one of the instigators of the murder of former Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt, of the Dutch Republic, and his brother Cornelis de Witt on 20 August 1672, together with his brother-in-law, Cornelis Tromp.- Early life :Johan Kievit...

, with high offices. This damaged his reputation in the same fashion as his later actions at Glencoe
Massacre of Glencoe
Early in the morning of 13 February 1692, in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution and the Jacobite uprising of 1689 led by John Graham of Claverhouse, an infamous massacre took place in Glen Coe, in the Highlands of Scotland. This incident is referred to as the Massacre of Glencoe, or in...

.

William III continued to fight against the invaders from England and France, allying himself with Spain and Brandenburg
Brandenburg
Brandenburg is one of the sixteen federal-states of Germany. It lies in the east of the country and is one of the new federal states that were re-created in 1990 upon the reunification of the former West Germany and East Germany. The capital is Potsdam...

. In November 1672 he took his army to Maastricht
Maastricht
Maastricht is situated on both sides of the Meuse river in the south-eastern part of the Netherlands, on the Belgian border and near the German border...

 to threaten the French supply lines. By 1673, the situation further improved. Although Louis took Maastricht and William's attack against Charleroi
Charleroi
Charleroi is a city and a municipality of Wallonia, located in the province of Hainaut, Belgium. , the total population of Charleroi was 201,593. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of and had a total population of 522,522 as of 1 January 2008, ranking it as...

 failed, Lieutenant-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter
Michiel de Ruyter
Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter is the most famous and one of the most skilled admirals in Dutch history. De Ruyter is most famous for his role in the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th century. He fought the English and French and scored several major victories against them, the best known probably...

 defeated the Anglo-French fleet three times, forcing Charles to end England's involvement by the Treaty of Westminster
Treaty of Westminster (1674)
The Treaty of Westminster of 1674 was the peace treaty that ended the Third Anglo-Dutch War. Signed by the Netherlands and England, it provided for the return of the colony of New Netherland to England and renewed the Treaty of Breda of 1667...

; after 1673, France slowly withdrew from Dutch territory (with the exception of Maastricht), while making gains elsewhere.

Fagel now proposed to treat the liberated provinces of Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel
Overijssel
Overijssel is a province of the Netherlands in the central eastern part of the country. The region has a NUTS classification of NL21. The province's name means "Lands across river IJssel". The capital city of Overijssel is Zwolle and the largest city is Enschede...

 as conquered territory (Generality Lands
Generality Lands
The Generality Lands, Lands of the Generality or Common Lands were about one fifth of the territories of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, that were directly governed by the States-General...

), as punishment for their quick surrender to the enemy. William refused but obtained a special mandate from the States-General to newly appoint all delegates in the States of these provinces. William's followers in the States of Utrecht on 26 April 1674 appointed him hereditary stadtholder. The States of Gelderland on 30 January 1675 offered the titles of Duke of Guelders and Count of Zutphen. The negative reactions to this from Zeeland and the city of Amsterdam, where the stock market
Stock market
A stock market or equity market is a public entity for the trading of company stock and derivatives at an agreed price; these are securities listed on a stock exchange as well as those only traded privately.The size of the world stock market was estimated at about $36.6 trillion...

 collapsed, made William ultimately decide to decline these honours; he was instead appointed stadtholder of Gelderland and Overijssel.

Marriage to Mary Stuart



During the war with France, William tried to improve his position by marrying Mary Stuart
Mary II of England
Mary II was joint Sovereign of England, Scotland, and Ireland with her husband and first cousin, William III and II, from 1689 until her death. William and Mary, both Protestants, became king and queen regnant, respectively, following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the deposition of...

, his first-cousin and daughter of James, Duke of York
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

 and eleven years his junior. Although he anticipated resistance to a Stuart match from the Amsterdam merchants who had disliked his mother (another Mary Stuart), William believed that marrying Mary would increase his chances of succeeding to Charles's kingdoms, and would draw England's monarch away from his pro-French policies. James was not inclined to consent, but Charles pressured his brother to go along. Charles wanted to use the possibility of marriage to gain leverage in negotiations relating to the war, but William insisted that the two issues be decided separately. Charles relented, and Bishop Henry Compton married the couple on 4 November 1677. Mary became pregnant soon after the marriage, but miscarried
Miscarriage
Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion is the spontaneous end of a pregnancy at a stage where the embryo or fetus is incapable of surviving independently, generally defined in humans at prior to 20 weeks of gestation...

. After a further illness later in 1678, she never conceived again.

Throughout William and Mary's marriage, William had only one acknowledged mistress, Elizabeth Villiers
Elizabeth Hamilton, Countess of Orkney
Elizabeth Hamilton, Countess of Orkney , was the acknowledged mistress of William III & II, King of England and Scotland, from 1680 until 1695...

, in contrast to the many mistresses his uncles openly kept.

Peace with France, intrigue with England


By 1678, Louis sought peace with the Dutch Republic. Even so, tensions remained: William remained very suspicious of Louis, thinking the French king desired "Universal Kingship" over Europe; Louis described William as "my mortal enemy" and saw him as an obnoxious warmonger. France's small annexations in Germany (the Réunion
Chambers of Reunion
The Chambers of Reunion were French courts established by King Louis XIV in the early 1680s. The purpose of these courts was to increase French territory. Louis had been expanding the borders of France in a series of wars. Territory was gained in the Treaty of Nijmegen in 1679 and the Treaty of...

policy) and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes
Edict of Nantes
The Edict of Nantes, issued on 13 April 1598, by Henry IV of France, granted the Calvinist Protestants of France substantial rights in a nation still considered essentially Catholic. In the Edict, Henry aimed primarily to promote civil unity...

 in 1685, caused a surge of Huguenot
Huguenot
The Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France during the 16th and 17th centuries. Since the 17th century, people who formerly would have been called Huguenots have instead simply been called French Protestants, a title suggested by their German co-religionists, the...

 refugees to the Republic. This led William III to join various anti-French alliances, such as the Association League, and ultimately the League of Augsburg (an anti-French coalition that also included the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

, Sweden, Spain and several German states) in 1686.

After his marriage in November 1677, William became a possible candidate for the English throne if his father-in-law (and uncle) James were excluded because of his Catholicism. During the crisis concerning the Exclusion Bill
Exclusion Bill
The Exclusion Crisis ran from 1678 through 1681 in the reign of Charles II of England. The Exclusion Bill sought to exclude the king's brother and heir presumptive, James, Duke of York, from the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland because he was Roman Catholic...

 in 1680, Charles at first invited William to come to England to bolster the king's position against the exclusionists, then withdrew his invitation—after which Lord Sunderland
Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland
Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland KG, PC was an English statesman and nobleman.-Life:Born in Paris, son of Henry Spencer, 1st Earl of Sunderland, Spencer inherited his father's peerage dignities at the age of three, becoming Baron Spencer of Wormleighton and Earl of Sunderland...

 also tried unsuccessfully to bring William over but now to put pressure on Charles. Nevertheless, William secretly induced the States-General to send the Insinuation to Charles, beseeching the king to prevent any Catholics from succeeding him, without explicitly naming James. After receiving indignant reactions from Charles and James, William denied any involvement.

In 1685, when James II succeeded Charles, William at first attempted a conciliatory approach, at the same time trying not to offend the Protestants in England. William, ever looking for ways to diminish the power of France, hoped James would join the League of Augsburg, but by 1687 it became clear that James would not join the anti-French alliance. Relations worsened between William and James thereafter. In November, James's wife Mary of Modena
Mary of Modena
Mary of Modena was Queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland as the second wife of King James II and VII. A devout Catholic, Mary became, in 1673, the second wife of James, Duke of York, who later succeeded his older brother Charles II as King James II...

 was announced to be pregnant. That month, to gain the favour of English Protestants, William wrote an open letter
Open letter
An open letter is a letter that is intended to be read by a wide audience, or a letter intended for an individual, but that is nonetheless widely distributed intentionally....

 to the English people in which he disapproved of James's religious policies. Seeing him as a friend, and often having maintained secret contacts with him for years, many English politicians began to negotiate an armed invasion of England.

Glorious Revolution




Invasion of England


William at first opposed the prospect of invasion, but most historians now agree that he began to assemble an expeditionary force in April 1688, as it became increasingly clear that France would remain occupied by campaigns in Germany and Italy, and thus unable to mount an attack while William's troops would be occupied in Britain. Believing that the English people would not react well to a foreign invader, he demanded in a letter to Rear-Admiral Arthur Herbert
Arthur Herbert, 1st Earl of Torrington
Arthur Herbert, 1st Earl of Torrington was a British admiral and politician of the late 17th and early 18th century. Cashiered as a rear-admiral by James II of England in 1688 for refusing to vote to repeal the Test Act, which prevented Catholics from holding offices, he brought the Invitation to...

 that the most eminent English Protestants first invite him to invade. In June, James's wife, Mary of Modena
Mary of Modena
Mary of Modena was Queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland as the second wife of King James II and VII. A devout Catholic, Mary became, in 1673, the second wife of James, Duke of York, who later succeeded his older brother Charles II as King James II...

, bore a son (James Francis Edward Stuart
James Francis Edward Stuart
James Francis Edward, Prince of Wales was the son of the deposed James II of England...

), who displaced William's wife to become first in the line of succession. Public anger also increased because of the trial of seven bishops
Seven Bishops
thumb|200px|A portrait of the Seven Bishops.The Seven Bishops of the Church of England were those imprisoned and tried for seditious libel over their opposition to the second Declaration of Indulgence issued by James II in 1688...

 who had publicly opposed James's religious policies and had petitioned him to reform them.

On 30 June 1688—the same day the bishops were acquitted—a group of political figures known afterward as the "Immortal Seven", sent William a formal invitation
Invitation to William
The Invitation to William was a letter sent by seven notable Englishmen, later named the Immortal Seven, to William III, Prince of Orange, received by him on 30 June 1688...

. William's intentions to invade were public knowledge by September 1688. With a Dutch army, William landed at Brixham
Brixham
Brixham is a small fishing town and civil parish in the county of Devon, in the south-west of England. Brixham is at the southern end of Torbay, across the bay from Torquay, and is a fishing port. Fishing and tourism are its major industries. At the time of the 2001 census it had a population of...

 in southwest England on 5 November 1688. He came ashore from the ship Brill, proclaiming "the liberties of England and the Protestant religion I will maintain". William had come ashore with approximately 11,000-foot and 4,000 horse soldiers. James's support began to dissolve almost immediately upon William's arrival; Protestant officers defected from the English army (the most notable of whom was Lord Churchill of Eyemouth
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, Prince of Mindelheim, KG, PC , was an English soldier and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs through the late 17th and early 18th centuries...

, James's most able commander), and influential noblemen across the country declared their support for the invader.

James at first attempted to resist William, but saw that his efforts would prove futile. He sent representatives to negotiate with William, but secretly attempted to flee on 11 December. A group of fishermen caught him and brought him back to London. He successfully escaped to France in a second attempt on 23 December. William permitted James to leave the country, not wanting to make him a martyr
Martyr
A martyr is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce, or accept, a belief or cause, usually religious.-Meaning:...

 for the Roman Catholic cause.

Proclaimed King


William summoned a Convention Parliament
Convention Parliament (1689)
The English Convention was an irregular assembly of the Parliament of England which transferred the Crowns of England and Ireland from James II to William III...

 in England, which met on 22 January 1689, to discuss the appropriate course of action following James's flight. William felt insecure about his position; though his wife ranked higher in the line of succession to the throne, he wished to reign as King in his own right, rather than as a mere consort
King consort
King consort is an alternative title to the more usual "prince consort" - which is a position given in some monarchies to the husband of a reigning queen. It is a symbolic title only, the sole constitutional function of the holder being similar to a prince consort, which is the male equivalent of a...

. The only precedent for a joint monarchy in England dated from the sixteenth century, when Queen Mary I
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

 married the Spanish Prince Philip
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

. Philip remained King only during his wife's lifetime, and restrictions were placed on his power. William, on the other hand, demanded that he remain as King even after his wife's death. Although the majority of Tory
Tories (political faction)
The Tories were members of two political parties which existed, sequentially, in the Kingdom of England, the Kingdom of Great Britain and later the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from the 17th to the early 19th centuries.-Overview:...

 Lords proposed to acclaim her as sole ruler, Mary, remaining loyal to her husband, refused.

The House of Commons
House of Commons of England
The House of Commons of England was the lower house of the Parliament of England from its development in the 14th century to the union of England and Scotland in 1707, when it was replaced by the House of Commons of Great Britain...

, with a Whig majority, quickly resolved that the throne was vacant, and that it was safer if the ruler was Protestant. There were more Tories in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 which would not initially agree, but after William refused to be a regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 or to agree to remaining King only in his wife's lifetime, there were negotiations between the two houses and the Lords agreed by a narrow majority that the throne was vacant. The Commons made William accept a Bill of Rights, and on 13 February 1689, Parliament passed the Declaration of Right
Bill of Rights 1689
The Bill of Rights or the Bill of Rights 1688 is an Act of the Parliament of England.The Bill of Rights was passed by Parliament on 16 December 1689. It was a re-statement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William and Mary in March 1689 ,...

, in which it deemed that James, by attempting to flee, had abdicated the government of the realm, thereby leaving the Throne vacant. The Crown was not offered to James's eldest son, James Francis Edward (who would have been the heir-apparent under normal circumstances), but to William and Mary as joint Sovereigns. It was, however, provided that "the sole and full exercise of the regal power be only in and executed by the said Prince of Orange in the names of the said Prince and Princess during their joint lives".

William and Mary were crowned together at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 on 11 April 1689 by the Bishop of London
Bishop of London
The Bishop of London is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury.The diocese covers 458 km² of 17 boroughs of Greater London north of the River Thames and a small part of the County of Surrey...

, Henry Compton. Normally, the coronation is performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

, but the Archbishop at the time, William Sancroft
William Sancroft
William Sancroft was the 79th Archbishop of Canterbury.- Life :Sancroft was born at Ufford Hall in Fressingfield, Suffolk, son of Francis Sandcroft and Margaret Sandcroft née Butcher...

, refused to recognise James's removal.

William also summoned a Convention of the Estates of Scotland which met on 14 March 1689, and sent a conciliatory letter while James sent haughty uncompromising orders, swaying a majority in favour of William. On 11 April, the day of the English coronation, the Convention finally declared that James was no longer King of Scotland. William and Mary were offered the Scottish Crown; they accepted on 11 May.

Revolution settlement



William III of England encouraged the passage of the Act of Toleration (1689), which guaranteed religious toleration to certain Protestant nonconformists. It did not, however, extend toleration as far as William wished, still restricting the religious liberty of Roman Catholics, non-trinitarians
Nontrinitarianism
Nontrinitarianism includes all Christian belief systems that disagree with the doctrine of the Trinity, namely, the teaching that God is three distinct hypostases and yet co-eternal, co-equal, and indivisibly united in one essence or ousia...

, and those of non-Christian faiths. In December 1689, one of the most important constitutional documents in English history, the Bill of Rights
Bill of Rights 1689
The Bill of Rights or the Bill of Rights 1688 is an Act of the Parliament of England.The Bill of Rights was passed by Parliament on 16 December 1689. It was a re-statement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William and Mary in March 1689 ,...

, was passed. The Act, which restated and confirmed many provisions of the earlier Declaration of Right, established restrictions on the royal prerogative
Royal Prerogative
The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in civil law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy as belonging to the sovereign alone. It is the means by which some of the executive powers of government, possessed by and...

. It provided, amongst other things, that the Sovereign could not suspend laws passed by Parliament, levy taxes without parliamentary consent, infringe the right to petition, raise a standing army during peacetime without parliamentary consent, deny the right to bear arms to Protestant subjects, unduly interfere with parliamentary elections, punish members of either House of Parliament for anything said during debates, require excessive bail or inflict cruel and unusual punishments. William was opposed to the imposition of such constraints, but he chose not to engage in a conflict with Parliament and agreed to abide by the statute.

The Bill of Rights also settled the question of succession to the Crown. After the death of either William or Mary, the other would continue to reign. Next in the line of succession was Mary II's sister, Princess Anne
Anne of Great Britain
Anne ascended the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Act of Union, two of her realms, England and Scotland, were united as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great Britain.Anne's Catholic father, James II and VII, was deposed during the...

, and her issue. Finally, any children William might have had by a subsequent marriage were included in the line of succession. Roman Catholics, as well as those who married Catholics, were excluded.

Resistance to validity of rule


Although most in Britain accepted William and Mary as sovereigns, a significant minority refused to accept the validity of their claim to the throne, holding that the divine right of kings
Divine Right of Kings
The divine right of kings or divine-right theory of kingship is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God...

 was authority directly from God, not delegated to the monarch by Parliament. Over the next 57 years Jacobites
Jacobitism
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...

 pressed for restoration of James and his heirs. Nonjuror
Nonjuring schism
The nonjuring schism was a split in the Church of England in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, over whether William of Orange and his wife Mary could legally be recognised as King and Queen of England....

s in England and Scotland, including over 400 clergy and several bishops of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 and Scottish Episcopal Church
Scottish Episcopal Church
The Scottish Episcopal Church is a Christian church in Scotland, consisting of seven dioceses. Since the 17th century, it has had an identity distinct from the presbyterian Church of Scotland....

 as well as numerous laymen, refused to take oaths of allegiance to William.


Ireland was controlled by Roman Catholics loyal to James, and Franco-Irish Jacobites
Jacobitism
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...

 arrived from France with French forces in March 1689 to join the war in Ireland
Williamite war in Ireland
The Williamite War in Ireland—also called the Jacobite War in Ireland, the Williamite-Jacobite War in Ireland and in Irish as Cogadh an Dá Rí —was a conflict between Catholic King James II and Protestant King William of Orange over who would be King of England, Scotland and Ireland...

 and contest Protestant resistance at the Siege of Derry
Siege of Derry
The Siege of Derry took place in Ireland from 18 April to 28 July 1689, during the Williamite War in Ireland. The city, a Williamite stronghold, was besieged by a Jacobite army until it was relieved by Royal Navy ships...

. William sent his navy to the city in July, and his army landed in August. After progress stalled, William personally intervened to lead his armies to victory over James at the Battle of the Boyne
Battle of the Boyne
The Battle of the Boyne was fought in 1690 between two rival claimants of the English, Scottish and Irish thronesthe Catholic King James and the Protestant King William across the River Boyne near Drogheda on the east coast of Ireland...

 on 1 July 1690, after which James II fled back to France.

Upon King William's return to England, his close friend Dutch General Godert de Ginkell
Godert de Ginkell, 1st Earl of Athlone
Godert de Ginkell, 1st Earl of Athlone, or in his own country of the Netherlands born Baron Godard van Reede was a Dutch general in the service of England....

, who had accompanied William to Ireland and had commanded a body of Dutch cavalry at the Battle of the Boyne
Battle of the Boyne
The Battle of the Boyne was fought in 1690 between two rival claimants of the English, Scottish and Irish thronesthe Catholic King James and the Protestant King William across the River Boyne near Drogheda on the east coast of Ireland...

, was named Commander in Chief of William's forces in Ireland and entrusted with further conduct of the war there. Ginkell took command in Ireland in the spring of 1691, and following several ensuing battles, succeeded in capturing both Galway
Galway
Galway or City of Galway is a city in County Galway, Republic of Ireland. It is the sixth largest and the fastest-growing city in Ireland. It is also the third largest city within the Republic and the only city in the Province of Connacht. Located on the west coast of Ireland, it sits on the...

 and Limerick
Limerick
Limerick is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland, and the principal city of County Limerick and Ireland's Mid-West Region. It is the fifth most populous city in all of Ireland. When taking the extra-municipal suburbs into account, Limerick is the third largest conurbation in the...

, thereby effectively suppressing the Jacobite forces in Ireland within a few more months. After difficult negotiations a capitulation
Capitulation (surrender)
Capitulation , an agreement in time of war for the surrender to a hostile armed force of a particular body of troops, a town or a territory....

 was signed on 3 October 1691—the Treaty of Limerick
Treaty of Limerick
The Treaty of Limerick ended the Williamite war in Ireland between the Jacobites and the supporters of William of Orange. It concluded the Siege of Limerick. The treaty really consisted of two treaties which were signed on 3 October 1691. Reputedly they were signed on the Treaty Stone, an...

. Thus concluded the Williamite pacification of Ireland, and for his services the Dutch general received the formal thanks of the House of Commons
House of Commons of England
The House of Commons of England was the lower house of the Parliament of England from its development in the 14th century to the union of England and Scotland in 1707, when it was replaced by the House of Commons of Great Britain...

, and was awarded the title of Earl of Athlone
Earl of Athlone
The title of Earl of Athlone has been created three times. It was created first in the Peerage of Ireland in 1692 by King William III for the Dutch General Baron Godard van Reede, Lord of Ginkel, to honour him for his successful battles in Ireland. The title also had the subsidiary title of Baron...

 by the King.

A series of Jacobite rising
Jacobite rising
The Jacobite Risings were a series of uprisings, rebellions, and wars in Great Britain and Ireland occurring between 1688 and 1746. The uprisings were aimed at returning James VII of Scotland and II of England, and later his descendants of the House of Stuart, to the throne after he was deposed by...

s also took place in Scotland, where Viscount Dundee
John Graham, 1st Viscount of Dundee
John Graham of Claverhouse, 1st Viscount Dundee , known as the 7th Laird of Claverhouse until raised to the viscounty in 1688, was a Scottish soldier and nobleman, a Tory and an Episcopalian...

 raised Highland forces and won a victory on 27 July 1689 at the Battle of Killiecrankie
Battle of Killiecrankie
-References:*Reid, Stuart, The Battle of Kiellliecrankkie -External links:* *...

, but he died in the fight and a month later Scottish Cameronian forces subdued the rising at the Battle of Dunkeld
Battle of Dunkeld
The Battle of Dunkeld was fought between Jacobite clans supporting the deposed king James VII of Scotland and a government regiment of covenanters supporting William of Orange, King of Scotland, in the streets around Dunkeld Cathedral, Dunkeld, Scotland, on 21 August 1689 and formed part of the...

. William offered Scottish clan
Scottish clan
Scottish clans , give a sense of identity and shared descent to people in Scotland and to their relations throughout the world, with a formal structure of Clan Chiefs recognised by the court of the Lord Lyon, King of Arms which acts as an authority concerning matters of heraldry and Coat of Arms...

s that had taken part in the rising a pardon provided they signed allegiance by a deadline, and his government in Scotland punished a delay with the Massacre of Glencoe
Massacre of Glencoe
Early in the morning of 13 February 1692, in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution and the Jacobite uprising of 1689 led by John Graham of Claverhouse, an infamous massacre took place in Glen Coe, in the Highlands of Scotland. This incident is referred to as the Massacre of Glencoe, or in...

 of 1692, which became infamous in Jacobite propaganda as William had countersigned the orders. Bowing to public opinion, William dismissed those responsible for the massacre, though they still remained in his favour; in the words of the historian John Dalberg-Acton
John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton
John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, KCVO, DL , known as Sir John Dalberg-Acton, 8th Bt from 1837 to 1869 and usually referred to simply as Lord Acton, was an English Catholic historian, politician, and writer...

, "one became a colonel, another a knight, a third a peer, and a fourth an earl
John Dalrymple, 1st Earl of Stair
John Dalrymple the Master of Stair was a Scottish noble who played a crucial role in the 1707 Treaty of Union between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England, that created the Kingdom of Great Britain....

."

William's reputation in Scotland was further damaged when he refused English assistance to the Darien scheme
Darién scheme
The Darién scheme was an unsuccessful attempt by the Kingdom of Scotland to become a world trading nation by establishing a colony called "New Caledonia" on the Isthmus of Panama in the late 1690s...

, a colony which then failed disastrously.

Parliament and faction



Although the Whigs were William's strongest supporters, he initially favoured a policy of balance between the Whigs and Tories. The Marquess of Halifax
George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax
George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax PC was an English statesman, writer, and politician.-Family and early life, 1633–1667:...

, a man known for his ability to chart a moderate political course, gained William's confidence early in his reign. The Whigs, a majority in Parliament, had expected to dominate the government, and were disappointed that William denied them this chance. This "balanced" approach to governance did not last beyond 1690, as the conflicting factions made it impossible for the government to pursue effective policy, and William called for new elections early that year.

After the Parliamentary elections of 1690, William began to favour the Tories, led by Danby
Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds
Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds, KG , English statesman , served in a variety of offices under Kings Charles II and William III of England.-Early life, 1632–1674:The son of Sir Edward Osborne, Bart., of Kiveton, Yorkshire, Thomas Osborne...

 and Nottingham
Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham
Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham, 7th Earl of Winchilsea PC , was an English Tory statesman during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.-Early life:...

. While the Tories favoured preserving the king's prerogatives, William found them unaccommodating when he asked Parliament to support his continuing war with France. As a result, William began to prefer the Whig faction known as the Junto
Whig Junto
The Whig Junto is the name given to a group of leading Whigs who were seen to direct the management of the Whig party and often the government, during the reigns of William III and Anne. The Whig Junto proper consisted of John Somers, later Baron Somers; Charles Montagu, later Earl of Halifax;...

. The Whig government was responsible for the creation of the Bank of England
Bank of England
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694, it is the second oldest central bank in the world...

. William's decision to grant the Royal Charter
Royal Charter
A royal charter is a formal document issued by a monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organizations such as cities or universities. Charters should be distinguished from warrants and...

 in 1694 to the Bank, a private institution owned by bankers, is his most relevant economic legacy. It laid the financial foundation of the English take-over of the central role of the Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 and Bank of Amsterdam in global commerce in the 18th century.

William dissolved Parliament in 1695, and the new Parliament that assembled that year was led by the Whigs. There was a considerable surge in support for William following the exposure of a Jacobite
Jacobitism
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...

 plan to assassinate him in 1696. Parliament passed a bill of attainder
Bill of attainder
A bill of attainder is an act of a legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without benefit of a judicial trial.-English law:...

 against the ringleader, John Fenwick, and he was beheaded in 1697.

War in Europe


William continued to be absent from the realm for extended periods during his war with France, leaving each spring and returning to England each autumn. England joined the League of Augsburg, which then became known as the Grand Alliance. Whilst William was away fighting, his wife, Mary II, governed the realm, but acted on his advice. Each time he returned to England, Mary gave up her power to him without reservation, an arrangement that lasted for the rest of Mary's life.

After the Anglo-Dutch fleet defeated a French fleet at La Hogue in 1692, the allies for a short period controlled the seas, and Ireland was pacified thereafter by the Treaty of Limerick
Treaty of Limerick
The Treaty of Limerick ended the Williamite war in Ireland between the Jacobites and the supporters of William of Orange. It concluded the Siege of Limerick. The treaty really consisted of two treaties which were signed on 3 October 1691. Reputedly they were signed on the Treaty Stone, an...

. At the same time, the Grand Alliance fared poorly in Europe, as William lost Namur
Namur (city)
Namur is a city and municipality in Wallonia, in southern Belgium. It is both the capital of the province of Namur and of Wallonia....

 in the Spanish Netherlands in 1692, and was badly beaten at the Battle of Landen
Battle of Landen
The Battle of Landen , in the current Belgian province of Flemish Brabant, was a battle in the Nine Years' War, fought in present-day Belgium on 29 July 1693 between the French army of Marshal Luxembourg and the Allied army of King William III of England...

 in 1693.

Death of wife, Queen Mary II


Mary II died of smallpox in 1694, leaving William III to rule alone. William deeply mourned his wife's death. Despite his conversion to Anglicanism
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

, William's popularity plummeted during his reign as a sole Sovereign.

Allegations of homosexual relations


During the 1690s rumours grew of William's alleged homosexual inclinations and led to the publication of many satirical pamphlets by his Jacobite detractors. He did have several close, male associates, including two Dutch courtiers to whom he granted English titles: Hans Willem Bentinck
William Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland
Hans William Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland, Baron Bentinck of Diepenheim and Schoonheten, KG, PC was a Dutch and English nobleman who became in an early stage the favourite of William, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder in the Netherlands, and future King of England. He was steady, sensible, modest...

 became Earl of Portland
Earl of Portland
Earl of Portland is a title that has been created twice in the Peerage of England, first in 1633 and again in 1689.-First creation :The title of Earl of Portland was first created for the politician Richard Weston, 1st Baron Weston, in 1633...

, and Arnold Joost van Keppel was created Earl of Albemarle
Earl of Albemarle
Earl of Albemarle is a title created several times from Norman times onwards. The word Albemarle is the Latinised form of the French county of Aumale in Normandy , other forms being Aubemarle and Aumerle...

. These relationships with male friends, and his apparent lack of more than one female mistress, led William's enemies to suggest that he might prefer homosexual relationships. William's modern biographers, however, still disagree on the veracity of these allegations, with many contending that they were just figments of his enemies' imaginations, and others suggesting there may have been some truth to the rumours.

Bentinck's closeness to William did arouse jealousies in the Royal Court at the time, but most modern historians doubt that there was a homosexual element in their relationship. But William's young protege, Keppel
Arnold van Keppel, 1st Earl of Albemarle
Arnold Joost van Keppel, 1st Earl of Albemarle KG, and lord of De Voorst in Guelders , was the son of Oswald van Keppel and his wife Anna Geertruid van Lintelo...

, aroused more gossip and suspicion, being 20 years William's junior and strikingly handsome, and having risen from being a royal page to an earldom with some ease. Portland wrote to William in 1697 that 'the kindness which your Majesty has for a young man, and the way in which you seem to authorise his liberties ... make the world say things I am ashamed to hear'. This, he said, was 'tarnishing a reputation which has never before been subject to such accusations'. William tersely dismissed these suggestions, however, saying, 'It seems to me very extraordinary that it should be impossible to have esteem and regard for a young man without it being criminal'.

Peace with France



In 1696, the Dutch territory of Drenthe
Drenthe
Drenthe is a province of the Netherlands, located in the north-east of the country. The capital city is Assen. It is bordered by Overijssel to the south, Friesland to the west, Groningen to the north, and Germany to the east.-History:Drenthe, unlike many other parts of the Netherlands, has been a...

 made William its Stadtholder. In the same year, Jacobites plotted to assassinate William III in an attempt to restore James to the English throne, but failed. In accordance with the Treaty of Rijswijk (20 September 1697), which ended the Nine Years' War, Louis recognised William III as King of England, and undertook to give no further assistance to James II. Thus deprived of French dynastic backing after 1697, Jacobites posed no further serious threats during William's reign.

As his life drew towards its conclusion, William, like many other European rulers, felt concern over the question of succession to the throne of Spain, which brought with it vast territories in Italy, the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 and the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

. The King of Spain, Charles II
Charles II of Spain
Charles II was the last Habsburg King of Spain and the ruler of large parts of Italy, the Spanish territories in the Southern Low Countries, and Spain's overseas Empire, stretching from the Americas to the Spanish East Indies...

, was an invalid with no prospect of having children; amongst his closest relatives were Louis XIV (the King of France) and Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
| style="float:right;" | Leopold I was a Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia. A member of the Habsburg family, he was the second son of Emperor Ferdinand III and his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain. His maternal grandparents were Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria...

. William sought to prevent the Spanish inheritance from going to either monarch, for he feared that such a calamity would upset the balance of power
Balance of power in international relations
In international relations, a balance of power exists when there is parity or stability between competing forces. The concept describes a state of affairs in the international system and explains the behavior of states in that system...

. William and Louis XIV agreed to the First Partition Treaty, which provided for the division of the Spanish Empire: Duke Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria would obtain Spain, while France and the Holy Roman Emperor would divide the remaining territories between them. Charles II accepted the nomination of Joseph Ferdinand as his heir, and war appeared to be averted.

When, however, Joseph Ferdinand died of smallpox, the issue re-opened. In 1700, the two rulers agreed to the Second Partition Treaty
Treaty of London, 1700
The Treaty of London, agreed on March 25, 1700 and sometimes known as the Second Partition Treaty, was an attempt to restore the Pragmatic Sanction following the death of Duke Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria, which had undermined the First Partition Treaty .-External links:*...

 (also called the Treaty of London), under which the territories in Italy would pass to a son of the King of France, and the other Spanish territories would be inherited by a son of the Holy Roman Emperor. This arrangement infuriated both the Spanish, who still sought to prevent the dissolution of their empire, and the Holy Roman Emperor, to whom the Italian territories were much more useful than the other lands. Unexpectedly, the invalid King of Spain, Charles II, interfered as he lay dying in late 1700. Unilaterally, he willed all Spanish territories to Philip
Philip V of Spain
Philip V was King of Spain from 15 November 1700 to 15 January 1724, when he abdicated in favor of his son Louis, and from 6 September 1724, when he assumed the throne again upon his son's death, to his death.Before his reign, Philip occupied an exalted place in the royal family of France as a...

, a grandson of Louis XIV. The French conveniently ignored the Second Partition Treaty and claimed the entire Spanish inheritance. Furthermore, Louis XIV alienated William III by recognising James Francis Edward Stuart
James Francis Edward Stuart
James Francis Edward, Prince of Wales was the son of the deposed James II of England...

, the son of the former King James II who had died in 1701, as King of England. The subsequent conflict, known as the War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. As France and Spain were among the most powerful states of Europe, such a unification would have...

, continued until 1713.

English succession


The Spanish inheritance was not the only one which concerned William. His marriage with Mary II had not yielded any children, and he did not seem likely to remarry. Mary's sister, the Princess Anne
Anne of Great Britain
Anne ascended the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Act of Union, two of her realms, England and Scotland, were united as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great Britain.Anne's Catholic father, James II and VII, was deposed during the...

, had borne numerous children, all of whom died during childhood. The death of Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, in 1700 left the Princess Anne as the only individual left in the line of succession established by the Bill of Rights. As the complete exhaustion of the line of succession would have encouraged a restoration of James II's line, Parliament saw fit to pass the Act of Settlement 1701
Act of Settlement 1701
The Act of Settlement is an act of the Parliament of England that was passed in 1701 to settle the succession to the English throne on the Electress Sophia of Hanover and her Protestant heirs. The act was later extended to Scotland, as a result of the Treaty of Union , enacted in the Acts of Union...

, in which it was provided that the Crown would be inherited by a distant relative, Sophia, Electress of Hanover
Sophia of Hanover
Sophia of the Palatinate was an heiress to the crowns of England and Ireland and later the crown of Great Britain. She was declared heiress presumptive by the Act of Settlement 1701...

, and her Protestant heirs if Princess Anne died without surviving issue, and if William III failed to have surviving issue by any subsequent marriage. (Several Catholics with genealogically senior claims to Sophia were omitted.) The Act extended to England and Ireland, but not to Scotland, whose Estates had not been consulted before the selection of Sophia.

Death



In 1702, William died of pneumonia
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

, a complication from a broken collarbone following a fall from his horse, Sorrel. Because his horse had stumbled into a mole's
Mole (animal)
Moles are small cylindrical mammals adapted to a subterranean lifestyle. They have velvety fur; tiny or invisible ears and eyes; and short, powerful limbs with large paws oriented for digging. The term is especially and most properly used for the true moles, those of the Talpidae family in the...

 burrow, many Jacobites toasted "the little gentleman in the black velvet waistcoat." Years later, Sir Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

, in his epic History of the English Speaking Peoples, put it more poetically when he said that the fall "opened the door to a troop of lurking foes". William was buried in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 alongside his wife. His sister-in-law Anne became Queen regnant
Queen regnant
A queen regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right, in contrast to a queen consort, who is the wife of a reigning king. An empress regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right over an empire....

 of England, Scotland and Ireland.

William's death brought an end to the Dutch House of Orange
House of Orange-Nassau
The House of Orange-Nassau , a branch of the European House of Nassau, has played a central role in the political life of the Netherlands — and at times in Europe — since William I of Orange organized the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule, which after the Eighty Years' War...

, members of which had served as stadtholder of Holland and the majority of the other provinces of the Dutch Republic since the time of William the Silent
William the Silent
William I, Prince of Orange , also widely known as William the Silent , or simply William of Orange , was the main leader of the Dutch revolt against the Spanish that set off the Eighty Years' War and resulted in the formal independence of the United Provinces in 1648. He was born in the House of...

 (William I). The five provinces of which William III was stadtholder—Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel—all suspended the office after his death. Thus, he was the last agnatic descendant of William I to be named stadtholder for the majority of the provinces. Under William III's will, John William Friso stood to inherit the Principality of Orange as well as several lordships in the Netherlands. He was an agnatic relative of the Princes of Orange, as well as a descendant of William the Silent through a female line. However, King Frederick I of Prussia
Frederick I of Prussia
Frederick I , of the Hohenzollern dynasty, was Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia in personal union . The latter function he upgraded to royalty, becoming the first King in Prussia . From 1707 he was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel...

 also claimed the Principality as the senior cognatic
Primogeniture
Primogeniture is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn to inherit the entire estate, to the exclusion of younger siblings . Historically, the term implied male primogeniture, to the exclusion of females...

 heir, stadtholder Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange
Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange
Frederick Henry, or Frederik Hendrik in Dutch , was the sovereign Prince of Orange and stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel from 1625 to 1647.-Early life:...

 having been his maternal grandfather and William III his first cousin. Under the Treaty of Utrecht
Treaty of Utrecht
The Treaty of Utrecht, which established the Peace of Utrecht, comprises a series of individual peace treaties, rather than a single document, signed by the belligerents in the War of Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht in March and April 1713...

, which was agreed to in 1713, Frederick William I of Prussia
Frederick William I of Prussia
Frederick William I of the House of Hohenzollern, was the King in Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg from 1713 until his death...

 (who kept the title as part of his titulary) ceded the Principality of Orange to the King of France, Louis XIV; Friso's son, William IV
William IV, Prince of Orange
William IV, Prince of Orange-Nassau , born Willem Karel Hendrik Friso, was the first hereditary stadtholder of the Netherlands.-Early life:...

, shared the title of "Prince of Orange", which had accumulated high prestige in the Netherlands as well as in the entire Protestant world, with Frederick William after the Treaty of Partition (1732).

Legacy


William's primary achievement was to contain France when it was in a position to impose its will across much of Europe. His life was largely opposed to the will of Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

. This effort continued after his death during the War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. As France and Spain were among the most powerful states of Europe, such a unification would have...

. Another important consequence of William's reign in England involved the ending of a bitter conflict between Crown and Parliament that had lasted since the accession of the first English monarch of the House of Stuart
House of Stuart
The House of Stuart is a European royal house. Founded by Robert II of Scotland, the Stewarts first became monarchs of the Kingdom of Scotland during the late 14th century, and subsequently held the position of the Kings of Great Britain and Ireland...

, James I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

, in 1603. The conflict over royal and parliamentary power had led to the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

 during the 1640s and the Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

 of 1688. During William's reign, however, the conflict was settled in Parliament's favour by the Bill of Rights 1689
Bill of Rights 1689
The Bill of Rights or the Bill of Rights 1688 is an Act of the Parliament of England.The Bill of Rights was passed by Parliament on 16 December 1689. It was a re-statement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William and Mary in March 1689 ,...

, the Triennial Act 1694 and the Act of Settlement 1701
Act of Settlement 1701
The Act of Settlement is an act of the Parliament of England that was passed in 1701 to settle the succession to the English throne on the Electress Sophia of Hanover and her Protestant heirs. The act was later extended to Scotland, as a result of the Treaty of Union , enacted in the Acts of Union...

.

William endowed the College of William and Mary
College of William and Mary
The College of William & Mary in Virginia is a public research university located in Williamsburg, Virginia, United States...

 (in present day Williamsburg, Virginia
Williamsburg, Virginia
Williamsburg is an independent city located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, USA. As of the 2010 Census, the city had an estimated population of 14,068. It is bordered by James City County and York County, and is an independent city...

) in 1693. Nassau
Nassau, Bahamas
Nassau is the capital, largest city, and commercial centre of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The city has a population of 248,948 , 70 percent of the entire population of The Bahamas...

, the capital of The Bahamas, is named after Fort Nassau, which was renamed in 1695 in his honour. Similarly Nassau County, New York
Nassau County, New York
Nassau County is a suburban county on Long Island, east of New York City in the U.S. state of New York, within the New York Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,339,532...

 a county on Long Island
Long Island
Long Island is an island located in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York, just east of Manhattan. Stretching northeast into the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island contains four counties, two of which are boroughs of New York City , and two of which are mainly suburban...

, is a namesake. Long Island
Long Island
Long Island is an island located in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York, just east of Manhattan. Stretching northeast into the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island contains four counties, two of which are boroughs of New York City , and two of which are mainly suburban...

 itself was also known as Nassau during early Dutch rule. Though many alumni of Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

 think that the town of Princeton, N.J. (and hence the university) were named in his honour, this is probably untrue. Nassau Hall, at the university campus, is so named, however.

The modern day Orange Institution
Orange Institution
The Orange Institution is a Protestant fraternal organisation based mainly in Northern Ireland and Scotland, though it has lodges throughout the Commonwealth and United States. The Institution was founded in 1796 near the village of Loughgall in County Armagh, Ireland...

 is named after William III, and makes a point of celebrating his victory at the Boyne. New York City was briefly renamed New Orange for him in 1673 after the Dutch recaptured the city, which had been renamed New York by the British in 1665. His name was applied to the fort
Fort Amsterdam
For the historic fort on the island of Saint Martin, see Fort Amsterdam Fort Amsterdam was a fort on the southern tip of Manhattan that was the administrative headquarters for the Dutch and then British rule of New York from...

 and administrative center for the city on two separate occasions reflecting his different sovereign status—first as Fort Willem Hendrick in 1673, and then as Fort William in 1691 when the English evicted Colonists who had seized the fort and city.

Titles and styles

  • 4 November 1650 – 9 July 1672: His Highness The Prince of Orange, Count of Nassau
  • 9 July – 16 July 1672: His Highness The Prince of Orange, Stadholder of Holland
  • 16 July 1672 – 26 April 1674: His Highness The Prince of Orange, Stadholder of Holland and Zeeland
  • 26 April 1674 – 8 March 1702: His Highness The Prince of Orange, Stadholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelre and Overijssel
  • 13 February 1689 – 8 March 1702: His Majesty
    Majesty
    Majesty is an English word derived ultimately from the Latin maiestas, meaning "greatness".- Origin :Originally, during the Roman republic, the word maiestas was the legal term for the supreme status and dignity of the state, to be respected above everything else...

    The King


By 1674, William was fully styled as "Willem III, by God's grace
By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God is an introductory part of the full styles of a monarch taken to be ruling by divine right, not a title in its own right....

 Prince of Orange
Prince of Orange
Prince of Orange is a title of nobility, originally associated with the Principality of Orange, in what is now southern France. In French it is la Principauté d'Orange....

, Count of Nassau etc., Stadholder of Holland
County of Holland
The County of Holland was a county in the Holy Roman Empire and from 1482 part of the Habsburg Netherlands in what is now the Netherlands. It covered an area roughly corresponding to the current Dutch provinces of North-Holland and South-Holland, as well as the islands of Terschelling, Vlieland,...

, Zeeland
County of Zeeland
The County of Zeeland was a county of the Holy Roman Empire in what is now the Netherlands. It covered an area in the Scheldt and Meuse delta roughly corresponding to the current Dutch province of Zeeland, though it did not include the region of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen which was part of...

, Utrecht
Utrecht
Utrecht is a city in the Netherlands.The name may also refer to:* Utrecht , of which Utrecht is the capital* Utrecht , including the city of Utrecht* Bishopric of Utrecht* Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Utrecht...

 etc., Captain- and Admiral-General of the United Netherlands". After their accession in Great Britain in 1689, William and Mary used the titles "King and Queen of England, Scotland, France
English claims to the French throne
The English claims to the French throne have a long and complex history between the 1340s and the 19th century.From 1340 to 1801, with only brief intervals in 1360-1369 and 1420–1422, the kings and queens of England, and after the Acts of Union in 1707 the kings and queens of Great Britain, also...

 and Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

, Defenders of the Faith
Fidei defensor
Fidei defensor is a Latin title which translates to Defender of the Faith in English and Défenseur de la Foi in French...

, etc." The claim to the French throne
English claims to the French throne
The English claims to the French throne have a long and complex history between the 1340s and the 19th century.From 1340 to 1801, with only brief intervals in 1360-1369 and 1420–1422, the kings and queens of England, and after the Acts of Union in 1707 the kings and queens of Great Britain, also...

 was only nominal, and had been asserted by every English King since Edward III
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

, regardless of the amount of French territory actually controlled.

Arms


The coat of arms used by the King and Queen was: Quarterly
Quartering (heraldry)
Quartering in heraldry is a method of joining several different coats of arms together in one shield by dividing the shield into equal parts and placing different coats of arms in each division....

, I and IV Grandquarterly, Azure
Azure
In heraldry, azure is the tincture with the colour blue, and belongs to the class of tinctures called "colours". In engraving, it is sometimes depicted as a region of horizontal lines or else marked with either az. or b. as an abbreviation....

 three fleurs-de-lis Or (for France) and Gules
Gules
In heraldry, gules is the tincture with the colour red, and belongs to the class of dark tinctures called "colours". In engraving, it is sometimes depicted as a region of vertical lines or else marked with gu. as an abbreviation....

 three lions passant guardant in pale
Pale (heraldry)
A pale is a term used in heraldic blazon and vexillology to describe a charge on a coat of arms , that takes the form of a band running vertically down the center of the shield. Writers broadly agree that the width of the pale ranges from about one-fifth to about one-third of the width of the...

 Or
Or (heraldry)
In heraldry, Or is the tincture of gold and, together with argent , belongs to the class of light tinctures called "metals". In engravings and line drawings, it may be represented using a field of evenly spaced dots...

 (for England); II Or a lion rampant within a double tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (for Scotland
Royal coat of arms of Scotland
The royal coat of arms of Scotland was the official coat of arms of the monarchs of Scotland, and was used as the official coat of arms of the Kingdom of Scotland until the Acts of Union of 1707...

); III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent
Argent
In heraldry, argent is the tincture of silver, and belongs to the class of light tinctures, called "metals". It is very frequently depicted as white and usually considered interchangeable with it...

 (for Ireland
Coat of arms of Ireland
The arms of Ireland is blazoned as Azure a harp Or, stringed Argent . These arms have long been Ireland's heraldic emblem. References to them as being the arms of the king of Ireland can be found as early as the 13th century...

); overall an escutcheon Azure billetty and a lion rampant Or (for Nassau
House of Nassau
The House of Nassau is a diversified aristocratic dynasty in Europe. It is named after the lordship associated with Nassau Castle, located in present-day Nassau, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The lords of Nassau were originally titled Count of Nassau, then elevated to the princely class as...

). In his later coat of arms, William used the motto: Je Maintiendrai (medieval French for "I will maintain"). The motto represents the House of Orange-Nassau
House of Orange-Nassau
The House of Orange-Nassau , a branch of the European House of Nassau, has played a central role in the political life of the Netherlands — and at times in Europe — since William I of Orange organized the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule, which after the Eighty Years' War...

, since it came into the family with the Principality of Orange
Principality of Orange
The Principality of Orange was a feudal state in Provence, in the south of modern-day France, on the left bank of the River Rhone north of the city of Avignon....

.


Ancestry





In popular culture


William has been played on screen by Bernard Lee
Bernard Lee
John Bernard Lee was an English actor, best known for his role as M in the first eleven James Bond films.-Life and career:...

 in the 1937 film The Black Tulip
The Black Tulip (1937 film)
The Black Tulip is a 1937 British, black-and-white historical drama film directed by Alex Bryce and starring Ronald Shiner as Hendrik, Patrick Waddington, Ann Soreen, Campbell Gullan and Bernard Lee. The film is based on the novel The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas...

, based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas, père
Alexandre Dumas, père
Alexandre Dumas, , born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie was a French writer, best known for his historical novels of high adventure which have made him one of the most widely read French authors in the world...

, Henry Daniell
Henry Daniell
Henry Daniell was an English actor, best known for his villainous movie roles, but who had a long and prestigious career on stage as well as in films....

 in the 1945 film Captain Kidd
Captain Kidd (1945 film)
Captain Kidd is a film starring Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott, Barbara Britton, and John Carradine, directed by Rowland V. Lee, produced by Benedict Bogeaus and James Nasser, music conduced by Werner Janssen, and released by United Artists. The film has entered the public domain since the...

, Olaf Hytten
Olaf Hytten
Olaf Hytten was a Scottish film actor. He appeared in over 280 films between 1921 and 1955.He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and died in Los Angeles, California from a heart attack...

 in the 1952 film Against All Flags
Against All Flags
Against All Flags is a 1952 American pirate film starring Errol Flynn as Brian Hawke, Maureen O'Hara as Prudence "Spitfire" Stevens and Anthony Quinn as Roc Brasiliano...

, Alan Rowe
Alan Rowe
Alan Rowe was a New Zealand-born English actor, perhaps best known for his appearances on the British science fiction programme Doctor Who.-Career:...

 in the 1969 BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 drama series The First Churchills
The First Churchills
The First Churchills was a BBC serial from 1969 about the life of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and his wife, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough...

, Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

 in the 1986 NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 TV mini-series Peter the Great, Thom Hoffman
Thom Hoffman
Thomas Antonius Cornelis Ancion, known by the pseudonym Thom Hoffman, is a Dutch actor and photographer.- Biography :...

 in the 1992 film Orlando
Orlando (film)
Orlando is a 1992 film based on Virginia Woolf's novel Orlando: A Biography, starring Tilda Swinton as Orlando, Billy Zane as Marmaduke Bonthrop Shelmerdine, and Quentin Crisp as Queen Elizabeth. It was directed by Sally Potter....

, based on the novel by Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf
Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English author, essayist, publisher, and writer of short stories, regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century....

, Corin Redgrave
Corin Redgrave
Corin William Redgrave was an English actor and political activist.-Early life:Redgrave was born in Marylebone, London, the only son and middle child of actors Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson...

 in the 1995 film England, My England, the story of the composer Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell – 21 November 1695), was an English organist and Baroque composer of secular and sacred music. Although Purcell incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, his legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music...

, Jochum ten Haaf in the 2003 BBC miniseries Charles II: The Power & the Passion, Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill is a British actor of film, stage and television. In a career spanning thirty years, he is best known for playing Yosser Hughes, the troubled 'hard man' whose life is falling apart in Alan Bleasdale's groundbreaking 1980s TV drama, Boys from the Blackstuff...

 in the 2003 film The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse
The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse
The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse is a feature film spin-off of the popular British television comedy series The League of Gentlemen. Starring Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, the film was written by the cast with Jeremy Dyson, and directed by Steve Bendelack...

, and Russell Pate in the 2008 BBC film King Billy Above All. He appears as a supporting character in Neal Stephenson
Neal Stephenson
Neal Town Stephenson is an American writer known for his works of speculative fiction.Difficult to categorize, his novels have been variously referred to as science fiction, historical fiction, cyberpunk, and postcyberpunk...

's Baroque Cycle trilogy.

See also

  • Anglo-Dutch Wars
    Anglo-Dutch Wars
    The Anglo–Dutch Wars were a series of wars fought between the English and the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries for control over the seas and trade routes. The first war took place during the English Interregnum, and was fought between the Commonwealth of England and the Dutch Republic...

  • British monarchs' family tree
    British monarchs' family tree
    This is the British monarchs' family tree, from James VI of Scotland to the present queen, Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.-Before James VI/I:-House of Stuart:-House of Hanover:...

  • Constantijn Huygens, Jr.
    Constantijn Huygens, Jr.
    Constantijn Huygens Jr. was a Dutch statesman also known for his work on scientific instruments and as a chronicler of his times...

     – secretary to William III
  • French monarchs family tree
    French monarchs family tree
    Below are the family trees of all French monarchs, from Pepin the Short to Louis Philippe I. Earlier kings are included in the list of Frankish kings. Monarchs from the House of Bonaparte are excluded from this article.-Carolingian Dynasty :...

  • House of Orange
  • List of James II deserters to William of Orange

External links



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