On This Day
The Glorious Revolution (Irish: An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar, Scottish Gaelic: Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor or Welsh: Chwyldro Gogoneddus), or Revolution of 1688, was the deposition and replacement of James II and VII as ruler of England, Scotland and Ireland by his Protestant daughter Mary II, and her husband, William III of Orange, which took place between November 1688 and May 1689. The outcome of events in all three kingdoms and Europe, the Revolution was quick and relatively bloodless, though establishing the new regime took much longer and led to significant casualties. The term was first used by John Hampden in late 1689.
Despite his Catholicism, James became king in February 1685 with widespread support since many feared his exclusion would lead to a repetition of the 1638–1651 Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It was also seen as a short-term issue; James was 52, his second marriage remained childless after 11 years, and his daughter Mary was heir presumptive. This changed on 10 June 1688 with the birth of a son, James Francis Edward; under the principle of male primogeniture, he replaced Mary as heir, creating the prospect of a Catholic dynasty.
This combined with instability caused when James suspended the Scottish and English Parliaments and tried to rule by personal decree. The prosecution of the Seven Bishops further antagonised his English supporters, since it was seen as a direct assault on the Church of England. Public celebrations of their acquittal on 30 June 1688 turned into widespread anti-Catholic riots throughout England and Scotland, and destroyed James’s political authority. In July, a coalition of English politicians invited William to secure the English throne.
Louis XIV of France was then preparing to launch the Nine Years War, which was a direct threat to the Dutch Republic; concerned English resources might be used against him, William therefore accepted. On 5 November, he landed in Torbay with 14,000 men; as he advanced on London, the bulk of the 30,000 strong Royal Army deserted and James went into exile on 23 December. A Convention Parliament met in April 1689, making William and Mary joint monarchs of England; a separate but similar Scottish settlement was made in June.
The Revolution was followed by pro-Stuart revolts in Scotland and Ireland, while Jacobitism persisted into the late 18th century. However, it ended a century of political dispute by confirming the primacy of Parliament over the Crown, a principle established in the Bill of Rights 1689. Restrictions on Catholics contained in the 1678 and 1681 English and Scottish Test Acts remained in force until 1828; religious prohibitions on the monarch’s choice of spouse were not removed until 2015, while restrictions on the monarch personally remain in place today.
Born On This Day
1877 – Bertha De Vriese, Belgian physician (d. 1958)
Bertha De Vriese (26 September 1877 – 17 March 1958) was a Belgian physician. When she earned her degree as a doctor of medicine at Ghent University, where she was the first woman to conduct research and the first woman physician to graduate from the school. Although she was not allowed to pursue an academic career, De Vriese opened a private pediatric clinic and served as the director of the Children’s Ward at the Bijloke Hospital in Ghent. In 1914, she married Josef Vercouillie, also a physician.
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