William's View of the Events of 1688


Activity One: Understanding the language of William of Orange's Account

In October 1688, just before he invaded England, William published this document explaining his actions. It is up to you to work out how he justifies his actions.
1. How does Seventeenth century English sounds to us, reading it today? Why do you think it sounds like this? What do you think these words mean in the 17th century document?
Can you think of some sentences in which you would use these words today? Or would you express the same meaning using completely different words?

2. Can you find these words in the 17th century document. What do you think they mean?  You might find it easier to read them out aloud:

3. Why are seventeenth century words spelt differently?
Which suggestion do you find most convincing:
a) People pronounced things differently to us today
b) People didn't have access to dictionaries and standardised versions of spellings.
c) People spelled words phonetically so spellings would vary depending on where you lived, how you talked and the level of your education.

Activity Two: What was William's view of the situation in 1688?

 Select words and phrases which illustrate his views. The table below will help you to organise your findings.

Print or save the table and fill in the spaces with your answers.