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WILLIAM III

William III

b. 4 [14] Nov 1650, The Hague, Netherlands
d. 8 [19] Mar 1702, London, England

Title: By the Grace of God, King of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. (Dei Gratia, Angliae, Franciae et Hiberniae Rex, Fidei Defensor, etc.) (see note) [13 Feb 1689 - 11 May 1689]
  By the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. (Dei Gratia, Angliae, Scotiae, Franciae et Hiberniae Rex, Fidei Defensor, etc.) (see note) [11 May 1689 - 8 Mar 1702]
Term: 13 Feb 1689 - 8 Mar 1702
Chronology: 13 Feb 1689, accepted the crown offered by a Declaration of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons on 12 Feb 1689
  11 Apr 1689, crowned, Westminster Abbey
  11 May 1689, accepted the crown of Scotland offered by the Estates of the Kingdom of Scotland on 11 Apr 1689
  8 Mar 1702, died
Names/titles: Original name: Willem Hendrik [English: William Henry]; Soeverein Prins van Oranje [Sovereign Prince of Orange] (from 4 [14] Nov 1650); stadhouder der Staten van Zeeland (from 22 Jun [2 Jul] 1672); stadhouder der Staten van Holland (from 23 Jun [3 Jul] 1672); Kapitein-Generaal en Admiraal-Generaal [Captain-General and Admiral-General] (from 28 Jun [8 Jul] 1672); erfstadhouder in Holland en Zeeland (from 23 Jan [2 Feb] 1674); erfstadhouder in Utrecht (from 16 [26] Apr 1674); erfstadhouder in Gelderland en Overijssel (from 20 Feb [2 Mar] 1675); erfstadhouder in Drenthe (from 3 [13] Aug 1696)
Biography:

William was the posthumous son of Willem II, Prince of Orange, and Henrietta Mary, daughter of the English king Charles I. Upon his birth he succeeded to his father's estates. When the French monarch Louis XIV invaded the Netherlands in 1672, William was elected stadholder by the Estates of Zeeland and Holland, and Captain-General and Admiral-General by the Estates-General. On 4 Nov 1677 William married his cousin Mary, daughter of James, Duke of York (future King James II of England).

When James II acceded to the throne of Great Britain, his opponents, fearing the restoration of the Roman Catholic church in England, issued a "letter of invitation" (30 Jun 1688) to William offering him to deliver the nation from "Popery and Arbitrary Power." On 5 Nov 1688 William and his army landed at Torbay in Devon, and entered London on 18 Dec 1688. An assemblage of Lords Spiritual and Temporal and the Commons requested William to take over the administration of the government in December 1688 and he accepted their offer on 28 Dec 1688. In his right as the administrator [1], William summoned the Convention, which assembled on 22 Jan 1689 at Westminster. The Convention declared that James II abdicated the Government and issued the Declaration of Rights (12 Feb 1689), which offered the crown to William and Mary as joint sovereigns. On the Ash Wednesday (13 Feb 1689), William and Mary were formally presented with the Declaration and accepted the crown in ceremonies at the Banqueting Hall in Whitehall Palace. They were immediately proclaimed King William III and Queen Mary II. On 11 Apr 1689 the Estates of Scotland approved the "Claim of Right" and declared that James II had "forfeited" the throne, which was therefore vacant, and also offered it to William and Mary. They accepted the offer in Whitehall on 11 May 1689, and were on that day proclaimed King and Queen of Scotland.

On 16 Dec 1689, William and Mary gave Royal Assent to the Bill of Rights, which limited the power of monarchy in favor of Parliament assigned to control taxation and legislation. William III led the military campaign against James II in Ireland, which culminated in the Battle of the Boyne (1 Jul 1690) and the defeat of the former king. Mary died in 1694 of smallpox, and William continued to ruled alone [2]. During the William's reign, England, as a member of the Grand Alliance, fought wars against France. Under the terms of the Treaty of Ryswick (20 Sep 1697), France returned the lands occupied during the war and recognized William as king. The Act of Settlement (1701) was designed to secure the Protestant succession to the throne of Great Britain. After Louis XIV proclaimed James III, the son of James II, king of England in September 1701, William was about to wage another war against France, but died as a result of complications from a fall whilst riding at Hampton Court. Biography source: [3; 4; 5]


[1] Exercising the civil authority from 28 Dec 1688 to 22 Jan 1689, William did not use any particular style, signing as "W.H. Prince of Orange".
[2] Absent from Great Britain: 1691-1701 (spring-autumn periods). After the death of Queen Mary II (28 Dec 1694), Lord Chief Justice administrated the government.
[3] "The Glorious Revolution of 1688," by Maurice Ashley (Hodder and Stoughton: London, 1966).
[4] "The Declaration of Rights," by Lois G. Schwoerer (The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore and London, 1981).
[5] Handbook of British Chronology (1986)
  Image: portrait of the Prince of Orange after Sir Peter Lely, 1677.

This page was last updated on: 14 Mar 2010 03:57:48

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