Periods > William and Mary (1688-1702)

The son-in-law and daughter of James II, they reigned as joint monarchs after the invasion of 1688. Mary II died in 1694 and William III reigned alone until his own death in 1702.

1689  Bill of Rights

The Act guaranteed certain rights to English citizens and also banned Roman Catholics from succeeding to the throne.

Suggested resources

  1. Debates in 1689 - January
  2. House of Lords Journal Volume 14 - 18 November 1689
  3. House of Lords Journal Volume 14 - 23 November 1689
  4. William and Mary, 1688 - An Act declareing the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Setleing the Succession of the Crowne. [Chapter II. Rot. Parl. pt. 3. nu. 1.]
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1689  Act of Toleration

This Act granted freedom of worship to non-conformists who were prepared to swear allegiance to the Crown, and deny transsubstantiation. Thus it excluded Catholics, Quakers and Unitarians.

Suggested resources

  1. William and Mary, 1688 - An Act for Exempting their Majestyes Protestant Subjects dissenting from the Church of England from the Penalties of certaine Lawes. [Chapter XVIII. Rot. Parl. pt. 5. nu. 15.]
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1690  Battle of Beachy Head

This naval battle was a significant defeat of the English and Dutch fleets by the French. The English admiral, Lord Torrington, was subsequently court-martialled.

Suggested resources

  1. William and Mary - July 1690
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1690  Battle of the Boyne

The battle took place near the town of Drogheda, with the opposing armies facing each other across the River Boyne. James's defeat was a serious setback to his attempts to regain the throne.

Suggested resources

  1. William and Mary - July 1690
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1694  Death of Queen Mary

Mary II died of smallpox in December 1694, after which her husband, William III, reigned alone.

Suggested resources

  1. House of Commons Journal Volume 11 - 28 December 1694
  2. House of Lords Journal Volume 15 - 2 March 1695
  3. America and West Indies - May 1695, 1-15
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