William III by Sir Godfrey Kneller

James had converted from Protestantism to Catholicism in 1668 whilst his brother Charles II was monarch. When the King too converted and tried to re-install Catholicism among his subjects around 1672, there was outrage. Acts were passed in Parliament, such as the Test Act, so only Anglicans could hold positions of office.

The following year the Earl of Shaftsbury’s Exclusion Bill attempted to deny Catholics the throne. When James was crowned in 1685 he promised to protect the Church of England and his word was known to be good. In 1687 he blocked most laws that would religiously persecute.

The following year his only son, James Edward Francis Stewart, who would grow to be ‘the Old Pretender’, arrived in June from Queen Mary. Unfortunately, in October William of Orange arrived from Holland with an army to take his uncle’s throne.

At fifty-five, James had lost his ability to form an effective strategy, which some say was due to syphilis, and he took exile in France. Calvinist William, had all his senses and General Hugh MacKay commanding his powerful Scots Brigade.

The throne was his in 1689. The people who remained loyal and fought to restore James and his line became known as the Jacobites.