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William of Orange

King William III of England / King William II of Scotland


William is one of the least revered and least remembered of British Kings.  He was a bold, cold and asthmatic Dutchman, a grandson of James I, who was never popular but is possibly one of Britain’s greatest and most important Kings.  He skillfully outmanoeuvred James II; he negotiated with Parliament to establish a constitutional monarchy (“the Glorious Revolution”); and he imported Dutch trading systems with which London was to become the pre-eminent trading city in Europe.

Question: Who was the last person to successfully invade mainland Britain?

Answer: William of Orange  In 1688 he was invited by Protestant leaders in England to invade to promote his wife Mary Stuart’s claim to the throne (she was the Protestant daughter of James II) following the birth of her Catholic half-brother, James as heir to Catholic King James II.

Question: Where did William of Orange’s invasion force land in England in 1688?

Answer: Brixham in Devon William landed with a substantial army brought by a fleet that was double the size of the Spanish Armada that had threatened England one hundred years before.

Question: Which of James II’s best Generals deserted him and joined William of Orange’s side shortly after William’s invasion in 1688?

Answer: John Churchill  The future Duke of Marlborough

Question: By what name is James II’s son James Stuart usually referred to historically?

Answer: The Old Pretender  James Stuart’s son, Charles Stuart is referred to as the Young Pretender but is best known as Bonnie Prince Charlie. 

Question: What is the name of the incident in 1692 where 78 members of the MacDonald clan were killed by regular troops for failing to pledge allegiance to the King and Queen, William and Mary?

Answer: The Massacre of Glencoe 

Question: Name the Battle in Ireland where William of Orange defeated the deposed James II?

Answer: Battle of the Boyne 

Question: Which Irish city was besieged by the deposed James II’s troops only for the seige to be relieved by two Royal Navy ships?

Answer: Londonderry / Derry