King James II of England
(1633-1701)

King of Scots (1685-1688) and King of England (1685-1688)

Died aged 67

James II and VII (14 October 1633O.S. – 16 September 1701) was King of England and Ireland as James II, and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He was the last Catholic monarch of England, Scotland and Ireland; his reign is now remembered primarily for struggles over religious tolerance. However, it also involved the principles of absolutism and divine right of kings, and his deposition ended a century of political and civil strife by confirming the primacy of Parliament over the Crown. James inherited the thrones of England, Ireland and Scotland from his elder brother Charles II with widespread support in all three countries, largely based on the principles of divine right or birth. Tolerance for his personal Catholicism did not apply to it in general and when the English and Scottish Parliaments refused to pass his measures, James attempted to impose them by decree; it was a political principle, rather than a religious one, that ultimately led to his removal. In June 1688, two events turned dissent into a crisis; the first on 10 June was the birth of James's son and heir James Francis Edward, threatening to create a Roman Catholic dynasty and excluding his Anglican daughter Mary and her Protestant husband William of Orange. The second was the prosecution of the Seven Bishops for seditious libel; this was viewed as an assault on the Church of England and their acquittal on 30 June destroyed his political authority in England. Anti-Catholic riots in England and Scotland now made it seem that only his removal from the throne could prevent a civil war. Leading members of the English political class invited William of Orange to assume the English throne; after he landed in Brixham on 5 November 1688, James's army deserted, and he went into exile in France on 23 December. In February 1689, a special Convention Parliament held that the king had "vacated" the English throne and installed William and Mary as joint monarchs, establishing the principle that sovereignty derived from Parliament, not birth. James landed in Ireland on 14 March 1689 in an attempt to recover his kingdoms, but despite a simultaneous rising in Scotland, in April a Scottish Convention followed that of England by finding that James had "forfeited" the throne and offered it to William and Mary. After his defeat at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690, James returned to France, where he spent the rest of his life in exile at Saint-Germain, protected by Louis XIV.

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Family tree

Commemorated on 9 plaques

David Anstiss on Geograph
David Anstiss on Geograph
Jez Nicholson on Flickr
Nick Harrison on Flickr
Simon Harriyott on Flickr
Marvin Barretto on Flickr
flipflopnick on Flickr
Monceau on Flickr
Monceau on Flickr

Here lived Henry Hatch, merchant, adventurer and benefactor of the town. Died 1533. To this house was brought King James II when captured in attempting to leave the kingdom, December, 1688.

12 Market Place, Faversham, United Kingdom where they was brought

After being captured by Faversham fishermen in December 1688 while trying to escape to the continent, King James II was detained for 3 days in this house, then the home of the Mayor, Thomas Southouse, and later that of Richard Marsh, owner of this brewery in 1698.

Quay Lane, Faversham, United Kingdom where they was detained

This house was the residence of the Duke of York (afterwards James II) occasionally during the Dutch War 1665 to 1672

58 High Street, Southwold, United Kingdom where they lived

On part of this site in 1640 was built Worcester House where lived Edward second Marquess of Worcester. At midnight on the 3rd. September, 1660, Anne Hyde daughter of the Earl of Clarendon was secretly married here to the Duke of York (afterwards James II) whose two daughters, Mary and Anne, became Queens of England.

Savoy Court, London, United Kingdom where they was secretly married here to Anne Hyde (1660)

King James II of England and VII of Scotland stayed at this house as the guest of Sir Richard Head before embarking for France on the 25th December 1688 when he finally left England.

Abdication House, High St, Rochester, United Kingdom where they stayed

Site of The Greyhound Inn Where in July 1647 King Charles I met his children James, Duke of York, Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Princess Elizabeth. This was arranged by the Parliamentary leader, Sir Thomas Fairfax. The local people decked the King's route with green boughs and strewed it with flowers.

66 High Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 1PY, Maidenhead, United Kingdom where they was

A 16th century house, later an inn, the accession of James 2 was celebrated here by local magistrates and there is a tradition that Oliver Cromwell was entertained here in 1648.

30 The Bank, Barnard Castle, United Kingdom where they is commemorated

En cette Eglise la Chapelle funéraire à la Mémoire de Jacques II, dernier Roi d'Angleterre de la Maison des Stuarts, mort en exil au Chateau de St. Germain-en-Laye le 16 septembre 1701. Monument élevé par S.M. la Reine Victoria. ---------- In this Church is the Shrine to the Memory of James II, the last Stuart King of England, who died in exile at the Castle of St. Germain-en-Laye on September 16th, 1701. The Monument was erected by Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

English translation: In this Church is the Shrine to the Memory of James II, the last Stuart King of England, who died in exile at the Castle of St. Germain-en-Laye on September 16th, 1701. The Monument was erected by Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

rue de la Paroisse, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France where they was buried (1701)

Ci-gît le Roi Jacques VII d'Ecosse, II d'Angleterre, 1633 - 1701. Partenaire fidèle de la Vielle Alliance Franco-Ecossaise. ---------- Here lies King James VII of Scotland, II of England, 1633 - 1701. Loyal partner in the Franco Scottish Auld Alliance.

English translation: Here lies King James VII of Scotland, II of England, 1633 - 1701. Loyal partner in the Franco Scottish Auld Alliance.

Rue de la Paroisse, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France where they was buried (1701)