Outline of Events in 1688

James II

King James II
King James II

King James II

James II was a Catholic. Soon after he became King, in 1685, he faced a rebellion led by Charles II's illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth, who was a Protestant. The rebellion was easily crushed and Monmouth was executed. James then decided to keep a large army in case of further trouble and to allow his Catholic supporters to become officers in this army. This was against the law, but James claimed that the King had the right to do this.

Declaration of Indulgence

Seven Bishops taken to the tower of London.
Seven Bishops taken to the tower of London.

Seven Bishops taken to the tower of London.

In 1687, James issued the Declaration of Indulgence. This allowed everyone freedom to practise their religion. It brought to an end laws which prevented non-Anglicans from going to university or getting important jobs. Many believed that James himself was breaking the law. Seven bishops refused to read out the declaration in church and were sent to the Tower of London. Later they were cleared and there was much celebrating.

A Catholic heir

The birth of James' son.
The birth of James' son.

The birth of James' son.

By now, important people were worried by the King's actions. They sent a secret letter to William of Orange, inviting him to come, with an army, to defend this country's liberties and the Protestant religion. William was keen to get Britain as an ally in a war he was fighting against France and accepted the invitation.

Secret letter

William readies his army.
William readies his army.

William readies his army.

By now, important people were worried by the King's actions. They sent a secret letter to William of Orange, inviting him to come, with an army, to defend this country's liberties and the Protestant religion. William was keen to get Britain as an ally in a war he was fighting against France and accepted the invitation.

A protestant wind

William and his army land at Brixham
William and his army land at Brixham

William and his army land at Brixham
William prepared a large force. By September 1688, he was no longer worried about the French invading his own country since they were attacking elsewhere, so he set off for Britain. He was lucky as a strong wind blew his fleet down the Channel and prevented James' ships from leaving harbour. Some people called this a 'Protestant wind'. William landed at Brixham in Devon, without opposition, on November 5th.
James Flees
James flees in a fishing boat.
James flees in a fishing boat.
James flees in a fishing boat.
As William and his army advanced slowly towards London, many of James' supporters changed sides. Even senior generals in James' army, like John Churchill, went over to William. At this point James sent his wife and son to France for safety.James soon decided to flee himself. His boat was stopped by some fishermen in Kent and he was taken back to London. William decided it would be better to let James escape again as it was difficult to know what to do with him. This time he got away safely to France where King Louis XIV welcomed him.
William and Mary
King William I
King William I
King William I
Meanwhile, William was welcomed into London. A new Parliament was elected and it offered the crown to William and Mary as joint monarchs. Parliament also drew up a Bill of Rights. This set out a list of things which the monarch was not allowed to do. This was read to William and Mary before they were crowned in Westminster Abbey.
Exiled James
William and Mary
William and Mary
William and Mary
Despite the coronation James did not give up. Catholics in Ireland were ready to support him. The French King, Louis XIV, provided troops and James landed in Ireland in 1689. However, William defeated James at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690. There was no further danger from the exiled James and his family for William and Mary or their successor, Queen Anne. However, there were to be two later attempts to restore James' descendants to the throne in the 18th century.