If you’re moving to London (or maybe already have) and ever previously followed my Weekend Warrior Sunday series, whoa!! Has it seriously been since the first of year that I’ve left you hangin’ on King James II?? Uh, sorry about that. I’ve been on a months’-long hiatus with blogging as I’ve helped London Relocation with its new website content—for this, the redesigned site, as well as its newly launched pet relocation site and pending one for businesses whose employees are moving to London. At any rate, I’m baaaaaaaack and with a vengeance, just like James II‘s opposers, apparently…
An inevitability of moving to London is encountering its history in every step you take. There is no avoiding a monument here or a plaque there and historic buildings all around that remind you of all the city’s layers of time. Today, we’re ripping up the modern-day pavement to peel back centuries of sediment and new construction to peek at 1665.
Friends in High Places
Already in 1665, his first year of reign, James II has discontinued meetings of Parliament to rule on his own. He appoints Catholics in prominent political, military, and academic places to promote the religion over Protestantism. And it’s in 1667 that he takes his measures for religious tolerance further by issuing a Declaration of Indulgence that he requires all Anglican clergy to recite to their congregations.
The Situation Gets Heir-y
By 1688, in only three years’ time James II has managed to alienate the nobility and burgeoning commercial class largely due to his imposing religious views. To make things more complicated, he has an adult daughter, Mary, who is Protestant and therefore who Parliament wishes to see succeed James’s throne. James’s second wife, however, gives birth to a Catholic son, James Francis Edward. Consider Parliament nervous. But they don’t take a seemingly assured Catholic succession lying down. They appeal to Mary and her husband William of Orange to come to England and assume the throne—in a weird twist of the family tree, they are both rightful heirs. So, William lands in Devon with an army, and as they’re moving in to London, James II is fleeing out of it to avoid capture—he’s alienated his own army and navy by this point, after all, so no one’s got his back.
Reconciled to Exile…Eventually
James doesn’t quite get away with it. He is indeed captured, but William goes easy on him and allows him a safe journey to France to live in exile. In 1689, Parliament renders his throne abdicated and jointly coronates William and Mary the King and Queen of England. James hasn’t given up yet, though; he makes his way to Ireland to assemble French-backed troops there. William’s forces defeat him, however, at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, so James lives the rest of his life (just over another decade) in exile in France.
Well, if you’re moving to London, hopefully your movements to and from the UK go a bit more smoothly, hey? No need for drama when your loyal London Relocation agent is there to ensure a smooth transition every step of the way. So use the time you’re saving on moving to expand your knowledge on its history—join me here next Sunday for more bite-sized bits!