James was a Stuart king of England, Scotland and Ireland who in 1688 was overthrown in the ‘Glorious Revolution’ by William III.
This did not impede his succession to the throne on Charles’ death in 1685.
Later that year James faced rebellion, led by Charles II’s illegitimate son the Duke of Monmouth. The rebellion was easily crushed after the battle of Sedgemoor in 1685, and savage punishments were imposed by the infamous lord chief justice, Judge Jeffreys, at the ‘Bloody Assizes’.
This, together with James’s attempts to give civic equality to Roman Catholic and Protestant dissenters, led to conflict with parliament. In 1685, James prorogued it and ruled alone. He attempted to promote Catholicism by appointing Catholics to military, political and academic posts. In 1687, he issued a Declaration of Indulgence aiming at complete religious toleration and instructed Anglican clergy to read it from their pulpits.Read More...