The revolution of 1688 is also called the Bloodless Revolution. Basically James II inherited the throne from his brother Charles II on 6th Feb 1685. Three years later he was turfed out. James aside from being Catholic himself appointed Catholics to the army and in 1687 suspended anti-catholic laws – in Ireland Protestant officers were replaced with Catholic ones. To be fair Protestant non-conformists also benefited from the change in laws. The problem was that in the seventeenth century religious bigotry was alive and well. The approximately ten percent of the English population who remained Catholic were at best regarded with suspicion.
James having Protestant children – Mary and Anne- was tolerated because he would be succeeded by people with the right kind of religious credentials. James’ first wife Anne Hyde was the daughter of Charles II’s minister Edward Hyde who became Lord Clarendon. The pair married in 1660 when pressure was exerted on James to do the right thing – their child was born two months later! Anne converted to Catholicism but the children of the marriage were raised as Protestants. It wasn’t a popular marriage as there was concern that Edward Hyde would gain to match political power from the match.
The trouble was that Anne died in 1671 and James married for a second time to Mary of Modena – who was Catholic. In June 1688 she gave birth to a a baby boy. This triggered seven leading political figures to write to James’ son-in-law William of Orange inviting him to invade England. William arrived on the 5th November.
Even James’ other daughter Anne joined William. Across the country James discovered that the nobility and gentry were declaring their allegiance to William and Mary. He panicked and fled from London
Apologies for the lack of picture – apparently the imps in the ether aren’t pedalling hard enough this evening!