Monarchy with David Starkey (2004–2007): Season 3, Episode 2 - The Glorious Revolution - full transcript

Outraged by James II's ham-handed attempts to promote tolerance for his fellow Catholics, Parliament invites his daughter Mary and her Dutch husband, William of Orange, to invade England and take the throne-ushering in the Glorious Revolution

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DAVID STARKEY: We all know
that England

was conquered by
William the Conqueror in 1066.

But we have forgotten,
or do not care to remember,

that 600 years later, England was
also conquered by another William.

William of Orange was Dutch,
rather than Norman,

and whilst there!s no doubt
that the Norman Conquest of 1066

changed England radically,

the Dutch conquest of 1688
also had profound consequences.

And notjust for England,

but arguably for the whole
ofthe rest ofthe world.

For the revolutioning government
that it ushered in

transformed England

from a feeble imitator
ofthe French absolute monarchy

and a mere bystander
in European affairs

into the most powerful

and aggressively modernising state
in Europe.

In short, the Dutch conquest invented
a modern England, a modern monarchy,

perhaps even modernity itself.

The purest form of monarchy
is despotism,

the unencumbered rule
of an individual,

free from any interference by
Parliament, Church or any other body.

Few monarchs ever achieve this,
though many aspire to it.

The archetype of English despotism
is Henry Vlll.

To this day, his image is an icon,

an instantly recognisable symbol
of absolute kingship.

This is a later copy of Holbein!s
great dynastic mural,

which shows Henry Vlll as head of
his family and head ofthe Church.

In the later 17th century,
the original ofthis wall painting

was still one ofthe wonders
ofWhitehall Palace,

and fittingly so,

for Restoration England was
still shaped by the key legacy

ofthe reign of Henry Vlll,
the Act of Supremacy,

which made the king supreme head
ofthe Church of England.

For a century and a half,
Henry and his successors

had exploited the religious authority
conferred by the supremacy

to try to make royal power
effectively unlimited

by Parliament or anybody else.

150 years after Henry!s death,

the restored monarchy of Charles ll
came close to achieving this

as towards the end of his reign,

the support ofthe uncritically
royalist Church of England

and subsidies from his cousin,
the Catholic Louis XIV,

enabled Charles to rule
without Parliament.

When he died unexpectedly in 1685,

he was succeeded
by his brother, James.

It was a testament to
the strength of Charles!s monarchy

that this succession
went unchallenged,

because James had done something
that many people thought made him

ineligible for the kingship
of Protestant England -

he!d converted to Catholicism.

There!d been attempts in Parliament

to have him excluded
from the succession.

But the protests had died away,
the climate had changed,

so as that now, as he was
proclaimed king on 6 February,

all the difficulties seemed
miraculously to have vanished.

Crowds of Londoners toasted him
in free wine and cheered.

The smoothness of James!s accession

was underscored by the magnificence
of his coronation.


Appropriately, it was commemorated

in this lavishly illustrated
souvenir volume by Francis Sandford.

The volume,
which was James!s own idea,

records every aspect ofthe ceremony
in the minutest detail.

Also on James!s orders,
all the figures are actual portraits.

So here is Henry Purcell,
the master ofthe King!s music,

who composed and directed
the music for the ceremony,

culminating in his great anthem,
fMy Heart is lnditing!.

SONG: ♪ My heart is inditing... ♪

And here is the diarist Samuel Pepys.

In his capacity as one ofthe barons
ofthe Cinque Ports,

he helped to carry the canopy
over the King

in the initial procession from
Westminster Hall to the abbey.

Here are the various stages -

the coronation, first of all,
ofthe King himself,

and then ofthe Queen,
Mary of Modena.

And here is the coronation banquet.

Sandford took the trouble to note
the position of every plate

and provided a key,
listing each dish by number.

It!s a remarkable document,

which, with the crayfish
placed ne to the blancmange,

records the eating habits
of a different age.

And here is the final
fireworks display.

It was dominated
by a huge, blazing sun.

The fsun in splendour!
was a universal emblem of monarchy,

and ofthe monarchy of James!s
cousin, Louis XIV of France,

in particular.

The fSun King!, as Louis was known,

ruled the most successful monarchy
in Europe.

Catholic, conquering and autocratic,

he exercised a level
of despotic power

that was unthinkable in England.

To most Englishmen,
Louis represented a dangerous miure

of religious fanaticism
and military might.

But James admired
his glamorous cousin.

Did the sun and the great crowned
figure of Monarchia,

that also appeared
in the coronation fireworks,

suggest that James would like England
to go the same way as Louis!s France?

But these worries were for later.

At his coronation in Westminster
Abbey, there was no hint of unease.

Instead, the mood was a celebration

ofthe miraculously smooth,
trouble-free transfer of power.

For James, a convert
to the Church of Rome,

to become, as king,
head ofthe Church of England,

was, indeed, a miracle.

But perhaps it was
a horrible misunderstanding.

That was certainly the opinion
of a group of English exiles

in the Dutch Republic.

Known as Whigs,

and staunch believers in
Protestantism and limited monarchy,

they!d been forced to flee

when they!d lost the battle
to keep James from the throne.

Theywere in despair
at the complacency

ofthose in the Church of England
and in Parliament, known as Tories,

who now supported a Catholic king.

Only an armed invasion,
the Whig exiles thought,

could save England
from Catholic absolutism.

Its natural leaderwas one oftheir
own number, James, Duke of Monmouth,

who, because he was
Charles ll!s bastard son,

had some sort of claim to the throne.

His fellow exiles managed to persuade
him to lead an expedition,

and on 24 May,
he set sail to England,

at the head of a pathetically small
force ofthree ships

and only 83 men.

The little band
made for the coast of Dorset,

an area where the good old cause
of English republicanism

had been particularly strong.

James, for his part, was worried
about insurrection elsewhere,

and was able to spare only 2,000
or 3,000 troops against Monmouth,

but at least theywere
professional soldiers,

and that proved decisive.

The showdown came here at Sedgemoor.

Boxed in by the royal army,

Monmouth decided that his only chance

was to launch
a surprise night-time attack.

The tactic made sense,

but his scratch troops were incapable
of carrying it out.

Instead, as dawn broke, theywere
routed by the King!s troops.

500 ofthem were killed
and 1 ,500 captured.

By then, Monmouth himself had fled.

Two days later, he was discovered
hiding in a ditch,

made prisoner and taken to London.

There was no need for a trial -

Monmouth had already been condemned
as a traitor

by act of Parliament.

He was brought to Tower Hill
for execution on 15 July.

James had easily overcome

what had only ever been
a revolt of enthusiastic amateurs.

But a far greater challenge was to
come from within his own government

as James was plunged into a crisis
almost entirely of his own making.

James ll was England!s first
Catholic monarch for over 150 years,

and ever since the Reformation,

Englishmen had been taught
to hate and fear Catholicism

as foreign, ungodly,
and, above all, un-English.

How, in view ofthese
deep-seated fears,

could a Catholic monarch be head
ofthe Protestant Church of England?

In Parliament, the ruling Tories
were anxious to be reassured.

They had supported
James!s right to become king.

Now, in return, they naturally
expected that James,

Catholic though he was,

would be equally unwavering in his
support for the Church of England,

and, at first, it looked as though
he would be.

MAN: l have been reported
a man forarbítrarypower,

butl knowthe príncíples ofthe
Church ofFngland are formonarchy.

Therefore, l shall always take care
to defend and supportít.

Things apparently
got offto a good start,

with this speech by James

to the first Pri Council meeting
of his reign.

His hearers applauded and the King
basked in their approval.

In fact, there was misunderstanding
on both sides.

The Tory councillors thought
that James had promised to rule

as though he were an Anglican,

while James, for his part,

thought that the Tories
and the Church of England

would continue to support him,
whatever he did.

Both sides were
quickly to be undeceived,

for James was a man with a mission.

Forwhatever he may have said
in public,

James saw his own succession,
against the odds,

as giving him the God-appointed task
of reconversion,

as he made clear in his own
private devotional writings.

MAN: GodAlmíghtybe praísed

by whose blessíngthatrebellíon
ofMonmouth was suppressed.

It was dívíne provídence that drove
me early out ofmynatíve country

and ít was the same provídence
ordered ít

so thatl'dpass the tíme
ín Catholíc kíngdoms.

James!s mission, then, was to convert
the country back to Catholicism.

But what method would he use?

Would it be persuasion or coercion?

Here, memories mattered.

The Catholic queen, Bloody Mary,
had used the rack and the stake,

and thanks to
Foxe!s fBook of Martyrs!

The memorywas still fresh
in England.

So too was the massacre
of St Bartholomew!s Eve,

the slaughter of Protestants

which had occurred during
the French wars of religion.

These memories,
which had scarcely faded,

were revived in
the most dramatic possible fashion

by Louis XIV of France,

the outstanding contemporary Catholic
king and James!s model and mentor.

For on 22 October 1685,
Louis revoked the Edict of Nantes,

which, by granting toleration
to French Protestants,

had brought the terrible wars
of religion to an end.

News spread quickly to England
and the effects were dramatic.

The country erupted.

Cartoons and leaflets appeared,

warning ofthe actions
ofthe French tyrant,

demolishing churches and plundering
the common people.

James!s Catholicism did not now
just affect political stability,

it might also be a threat
to body and soul.

The message was clear -
England might be ne.

Could something like the Revocation
ofthe Edict of Nantes

happen in the England of James ll?

A Catholic army
harass English Protestants

and compel them to convert
or to emigrate?

Circumstances made it
infinitely improbable,

but James, by his
single-minded determination

to allow Catholicism
a level playing field

with the established
Protestant Church,

did his best to make the improbable
seem a real possibility.

In private,
James made representations

about the persecution
of French Protestants,

but his public actions
seemed to fulfil the worst fears

of a Catholic takeover.

James had recruited,
as part of his professional army,

100 officers who were Catholics.

This was acceptable in an emergency,
but it was technically illegal.

An act of Parliament,
called the Test Act,

forbade the employment of Catholics
in any public post,

including the army.

With characteristic bluntness,

James tackled the issue
of Catholic army officers head-on

in his speech from the throne,

when he vowed that nothing would
ever make him give them up.

MAN: To dealplaínly wíth you,

l wíllneítherexpose them
to dísgrace,

normyselfto the want

should a second rebellíon
make ítnecessary.

This was to fling down a challenge
to both houses of Parliament.

In the Commons, a backbencher invoked
the spirit of parliamentary freedom.

MAN: l hope we are Fnglíshmen

and notto be fríghtened from
ourdutyby a fewhígh words.

In the Lords,
the Bishop of London declared

that for the King to act in
contravention ofthe Test Act

would undermine the security
ofthe Church of England.

James had lost the fight.

Furious and frustrated,
he dismissed Parliament.

He would have to get round
the Test Act some otherway.

He turned his attentions
to thejudiciary,

the only other bodywhose authority
remotely compared with parliament!s.

He began to prepare the ground.

First, the bench ofjudges
was purged ofwaverers.

Then a test case was brought,
on behalf of a Catholic army officer

to whom James had granted
a royal dispensation, orwaiver,

from the requirements
ofthe Test Act.

The Lord Chief Justice
read out thejudgment

on behalf of his
almost unanimous colleagues.

It could hardly have been clearer
or more subversive.

MAN: The kíngs ofFngland
are sovereígn prínces.

The laws ofFngland
are the kíng's laws.

Itís an ínseparable prerogatíve
ofthe kíngs ofFngland

to díspense wíth penallaws
upon partícular, necessaryreasons,

and ofthose reasons,
the kínghímselfís solejudge.

This ruling turned Parliament
into a mere sleeping partner

in the Constitution.

It might pass whatever laws it liked.

Whither, and on whom, theywere
enforced was entirely up to the King.

But, most of all,

thejudges! ruling was exquisitely
uncomfortable for the Tories,

since it turned one oftheir
fundamental beliefs

in the unconditional nature
of royal power

against the other, in the sanctity
ofthe Church of England.

And it was to the Church that James
was to turn his attention ne.

His victory in the courts

had given him the power to overturn
anti-Catholic legislation

on a case-by-case basis.

But his ultimate goal
was to get the power

to nullify all the laws

which Parliament had made
against Catholics.

The Church of England,
with its wealth, its power,

its churches
in every town and village,

was the great obstacle to this.

But boldly handled, and James
was nothing if not bold,

the Church might be the means
to bring about change.

For had not the Church of England
made absolute obedience to the king

an article of faith
preached from every pulpit?

First James drew up
a Declaration of lndulgence,

which offered universal religious
toleration to all -

Anglicans, Catholics
and Protestant dissenters.

Then, he commanded the clergy
ofthe Church of England

to read out the Declaration
in every parish church.

This impaled the Church
on the horns of a dilemma -

should they obey the King!s commands
or God!s, as they saw it?

The Archbishop of Canterbury,
William Sancroft,

summoned his fellow bishops to
a secret supper party at Lambeth

to discuss the situation.

When the meal was over, seven ofthem
signed a petition to the King,

denouncing his Declaration.

In their petition,
the bishops contrived

both to have their Tory cake
and to eat Whig principles.

On the one hand, they invoked, fOur
holy mother, the Church of England!

Which was both in her principles
and practice, unquestionably loyal,

and on the other, they argued,
like good Whigs,

that the Declaration was founded upon
a dispensing power

ffas hath often been declared
illegal in Parliament!!.

This was a dramatic turnaround.

Only three years before, Sancroft,
as Archbishop of Canterbury,

had crowned James
at Westminster Abbey.

Now he was the instigator of
a document that criticised the King

on a central, constitutional issue.

It was a frontal attack
on royal policy,

and, as the petition quickly
circulated in print,

a public challenge to royal authority
as well.

James determined to face it down

by prosecuting the bishops
for seditious libel.

But he had underestimated
the bishops,

who showed unexpected courage,

and he!d completely misjudged
the mood ofthe people,

which the bishops,

showing a remarkable flair for public
relations, were able to milk.

Instead of being intimidated
by the indignity of prosecution,

the bishops pursued a deliberate
policy of non-cooperation.

They refused to raise security
for bail,

with the result that theywere all
imprisoned in the Tower of London.

It was a terrific coup.

Crowds of Londoners had cheered them
from the river bank

as theywere brought here bywater.

When they landed,

the soldiers ofthe garrison
received them on their knees,

and the governor treated them not as
prisoners but as honoured guests.

The bishops! brief and comfortable
stay in the Tower

had turned them into celebrities.

More importantly, it had turned
the constitutional question

of James!s power
into a public issue.

At the trial, in the huge spaces
ofWestminster Hall,

passions about the legality
ofthe dispensing power itself

rose to such an eent
that decorum broke down.

The spectators cheered counsel
for the bishops

and booed and hissed
the royal lawyers.

Thejurors stayed out all night
in continuous deliberation.

Then, the following morning, they
returned the verdict of not guilty.

Instead, it was James!s government
that had been condemned.

His bid to become an absolute monarch
in the mould of his cousin Louis,

or even his predecessor Henry Vlll,
had failed.

No English monarch would ever dare
make the attempt again.

James!s eagerness to legitimise
Catholicism in England

had brought him into open conflict
with Parliament, the bishops

and nowthe courts.

He came offworse
in all these conflicts,

but, even so, he might have survived.

It was an unexpected event

which took place in the bedchamber
at St James!s Palace

that brought about the final crisis.

Mary of Modena, James!s second wife,
a Catholic,

came from famously fertile stock
and she duly conceived frequently,

but all the babies either miscarried
or died in infancy.

James already had two daughters
by his previous marriage,

Mary and Anne,
who were ne in line to the throne.

Theywere firm Protestants,
so as matters stood,

when James died, the anomaly of his
Catholicism would die with him.

On the other hand,

were he nowto father a male heir
by his second wife,

the Catholic threat would remain
for another generation.

In the late summer of 1687,
Mary took the waters at Bath.

it seemed to do the trick

and, in December, her pregnancy
was officially confirmed.

Nowthe question was -would Mary
finally produce a healthy heir?

Her labour began at St James!s
on the morning of 10 June 1688,

in this very bed.

And after a short labour, impeded
only by the crowd ofwitnesses

crammed into the royal bedchamber,
she gave birth at about 10am.

The baby, christened James Francis
Edward, was a boy.

And once his doctors had stopped
feeding him with a spoon -

on a gruel made
ofwater, flour and sugar,

flavoured with
a little sweet, white wine -

and allowed him human milk
from a wet nurse,

he was healthy.

Normally, the birth
of a Prince ofWales

would have crowned James!s attempt
to reassert royal authority.

But the birth of James Francis
had the opposite effect.

It was a prelude to war.

James!s opponents, his daughters,
Mary and Anne, among them,

decided that they couldn!t tolerate

the prospect
of a Catholic succession.

Anne, who still lived
in her father!s palace,

had always disliked her stepmother
for her airs and graces.

When the child was born,
she took pleasure in suggesting

that it was a changeling
and not, in fact, Mary!s.

There were, she claimed,
a number ofthings not quite right

about the circumstances ofthe birth.

Mary of Modena was too well.

James, bearing in mind

his wife!s previous, disastrous
gynaecological history,

was too confident,

and he was too confident, in
particular, that he would have a son.

So the pregnancy
must be suppositious,

and the child a changeling

smuggled into the Queen!s bed
in a warming pan.

The story ofthe maid
and the warming pan

was embroidered with lots
of circumstantial detail

and circulated in scurrilous
pamphlets and prints

as part of
a black propaganda campaign.

It was all malicious nonsense,
of course,

but Princess Anne believed it,

and she persuaded her sister, Mary,
in the Netherlands,

to believe it too.

Mary!s husband also found it
convenient to believe.

He was William of Orange, and he came
from a long line of Dutch princes.

He was James!s nephew,
as well as his son-in-law,

and a man of consuming ambition
in his own right.

By 1688, William was a hardened
general and politician,

but his goal to unite England and the
Netherlands in a Protestant crusade

against the overweening Catholic
power of Louis XIV!s France

remained unchanged.

The new palace he built at Het Loo

was almost a conscious answer
to Louis XIV!s Versailles.

A visible expression
of princely power,

but executed with Protestant decorum
and restraint.

For William was not a king,

but the first citizen and general
ofthe Dutch republic,

with his power finely balanced

against that
ofthe rich merchant guilds.

Here, there could be no question
of him becoming an absolute ruler.

Nor did he want to.

His interests lay in foreign policy
and the war against France,

which is why he was so concerned
with English affairs.

Bearing in mind his position
as James!s son-in-law,

William had every reason to suppose

that he would gain control of England

when his wife succeeded as
queen regnant on her father!s death.

But James!s Catholicising policies,

and, still worse, the birth
of a Catholic son and heir,

threatened to rob William
ofthe prize.

He would not let it go
without a struggle.

William now made preparations
to invade.

Unlike the Duke of Monmouth,

he realised that he must use
overwhelming force,

so in the course ofthe summer,

he began to assemble
a formidable armada.

Events in England
also benefited William.

James had now alienated

every powerful interest group
n the country,

including the Tories and the Church,
who!d been his strongest supporters.

The last straw
was the birth of a Catholic heir.

The result was that on 30 June,

and three weeks after the birth
of James Francis,

four Whig peers and gentlemen
and three Tories

took the revolutionary
and treasonable step

of signing an invitation to William
to invade Britain

on the grounds that

ff19 parts of 20 ofthe people
are desirous of a change!!.

They exaggerated, of course,

but their sense ofthe popular mood
was right.

William was eager
to take up the invitation.

He now had a waiting fleet consisting
of 60 warships, 700 transports,

15,000 troops, 4,000 horses
and a printing press.

The problem was the weather.

At first, it seemed as though

the weatherwould offer James
the protection

which Louis XIV had not.

William had intended to set sail
on the first high tide in October,

but adverse winds kept him bottled up
in port here for several days.

Then a violent storm scattered
his fleet and drove it to shore.

To James, all this seemed
like divine providence.

MAN: l see GodAlmíghty

contínues hís protectíon ofme
and ofmyrealm.

Itís byhís wíllthatthe wínd
has turned westerly agaín.

But then the wind turned easterly
and stayed that way.

The result not only
blewWilliam to England,

it also blew away James!s confidence
and, with it, his authority.

William landed, unopposed,
here in Torbay

on an auspicious day, 5 November.

Then he marched through
cheering crowds to Exeter,

where he set up camp
and his printing press,

to churn out carefully prepared

But words alone were, it appeared,

not going to be enough to give him
control of England,

for camped on Salisbury Plain

between William and the seat
of government in London

was an army of 25,000 soldiers

all nominally loyal
to his father-in-law, the King.

Everything depended on howtheywould
react to the crisis.

James arrived to take
personal command

ofthe royal army on Salisbury Plain.

But, instead of stiffening
the resolve ofthe troops,

James underwent some sort
of personal psychosomatic crisis,

succumbing to repeated
hea nosebleeds.

The illness seems to have been
a symptom

of some profound
crisis of confidence.

James, who!d been so confident
of his divinely ordained mission,

suddenly lost faith that God was,
after all, on his side.

Quite whywill never be known.

Was his overweening self-confidence
and sense of divine mission

just too brittle
to cope with a real challenge,

orwas he undermined
by ajustifiable fear of betrayal

within his own inner circle?

At any event, on 23 November,
James decided to cut and run

and return to London.

The decision
sent a disastrous signal.

Ifthe King wasn!t prepared to stand
and fight in his own cause,

why should anybody else bother
to risk their neck on his behalf?

By the time he arrived in London,

his leading general
and his own daughter, Anne,

had deserted tojoin William.

Who would be ne to go?

Abandoned by his God
as well as his children,

James!s only thought now
was for flight.

Outwardly, he conducted negotiations
with William,

but theywere only a cover
for his real purpose,

and he contrived to bungle even that.

The escape ofthe Queen with
the infant Prince ofWales

had to be postponed several days,
and only took place on 10 December,

when she left Whitehall
disguised as a laundrywoman.

James himself quit the capital
the ne day,

first flinging the matrix, or mould,
ofthe Great Seal, into the Thames,

so as that the seal, the supreme
emblem of royal authority,

couldn!t be used to legitimise either
his own overthrow

or the nomination of a successor.

His flight was a disaster too.

Dressed as an ordinary
country gentleman,

he rode to the north Kent coast,
where he embarked for France.

But he was caught and then rescued by
a loyal detachment of his guards

and brought back to London.

By then it was too late.

William arrived
and took control ofthe capital.

On 23 December, James was
allowed to escape to France,

this time, with William!s connivance.

He succeeded.

Only sixweeks
after landing in Torbay,

William was master ofthe country,

and Holland had conquered England
with scarcely a shot being fired.

But although in military terms
it was a non-event,

the Glorious Revolution, as it almost
immediately became known,

was to transform the monarchy.

But first, William!s status
had to be decided.

In his propaganda,

William had promised to do nothing
without Parliament,

and an assembly of both Lords
and Commons was now summoned.

Tory peers wanted to make William
regent, to act as caretaker,

whilst the Stuart dynasty skipped
a generation to his wife, Mary.

But William made it clear
that he would be king

or he would return
to the Netherlands.

Nobodywanted that, so in the end,

Lords and Commons agreed
to a face-saving compromise.

William and Marywould be
joint king and queen,

a sort of double monarchy,
unique in the history of England,

although the exercise of sovereignty
would be vested solely in William.

At a ceremony at the Banqueting House
in Whitehall,

William and Marywere
formally offered the crown.

Mary, who!d only arrived
in the country the day before,

joined her husband on twin thrones
under the Cloth of Estate.

Then the House of Lords on the right
and the Commons on the left,

led by their respective speakers,

advanced towards
the steps ofthe throne.

The clerk read out the Bill of Rights

and a nobleman offered
William and Mary the crown

in the name ofthe convention as the
representative ofthe English nation.

William accepted
on theirjoint behalves

and theywere proclaimed
King and Queen of England

to the sound oftrumpets.

England had, in effect,
elected a king and queen,

though the fact that Marywas
the dethroned James!s daughter

drew a decent veil
over the harsh reality.

England and the monarchy
would never be the same again.

Through the eraordinary agency
of an invited, armed

yet virtually bloodless
invasion ofthe country,

William and Mary had become
joint monarchs of England.

Two months later, their coronation
took place in Westminster Abbey,

with a new ceremony
and, in particular, a new oath

that had been transformed to reflect
the new realities of power.

Just as innovatory
was the coronation sermon.

Ever since the time of Henry Vlll,

preachers at the coronation
had vied with each other

to elevate the monarch-cum-supreme
head ofthe Church

to an almost godlike plane.

But in 1689, all this changed too,

and the preacher began by asserting

that despotic command had no place
in the divine scheme ofthings.

MAN: A rígorín commandíng
and a crueltyín puníshíng

mustfíndpafterns elsewhere than
ín God's governíng ofthe world.

Happy we...

The preacher said,
byway of contrast.

MAN: ..who are delívered
from both extremes,

who neítherlíve underthe teffor
ofdespotíc power...

As France, under Louis XIV.

MAN: ..norare castloose ínto the
wíldness ofgoverned multítudes.

As England herself had been
during the Civil War and Commonwealth.

MAN: ln the name ofthe Father,
Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

God save Kíng llíam
and Queen Mary.

As the preacher finished,

the congregation
broke into infinite applause.

Theywere responding as though
the ancient mysteries

ofthe English coronation service

had been transmuted into
the inauguration ceremonies

of a popular prince-president of
a middle-of-the-road republic,

as, of course, William was
in his native Holland.

Parliament was not, of course,
going to go the whole hog

and declare England a republic again.

But, after having given him
the crown he wanted,

Whigs and Tories united

to restrict the powers that he
or any future monarch could exercise.

They drew up
the Declaration of Rights.

Intended to encapsulate the ancient
rights and liberties ofthe nation,

it laid the foundations for a
limited, or constitutional, monarchy.

The bill declared

that the Crown could not suspend
laws made in Parliament.

It could not raise taxation
except through Parliament,

and it could not have a standing army
without the consent of Parliament.

Above all, the bill declared it

ffinconsistent with the safety and
welfare ofthis Protestant kingdom

fffor the monarch to be a Papist,
a Catholic,

ffor to be married to a Papist!!.

The principal
ofthe royal supremacy -

that the English should have
the religion oftheir king -

had been stood on its head.

Nowthe king must have
the religion of his people,

and no English monarch
has been either a Catholic

or married to a Catholic
since then.

It was a revolution indeed.

But William!s power
was not totally unopposed.

On the eve ofthe coronation,

Mary had received a message from
her father, the exiled James ll.

MAN: lfyou are crowned whíle l
and the Prínce ofWales are lívíng,

the curses ofan angryfather
wíllfallupon you,

as well as those ofGod.

William would have to fight
to keep his crown.

And sure enough, on the very day
ofthe coronation,

news arrived that James
had landed in lreland

with a force of French mercenaries.

But this French invasion did not fare
so well as the recent Dutch one.

The lrish troops were unseasoned,

and James!s own incompetence
and indolence made matters worse.

The result was James!s final,
shattering defeat in battle

by his son-in-law, William of Orange,
on the banks ofthe River Boyne.

The Battle ofthe Boyne
is why the word forange!

Continues to arouse such fierce
and contradictory emotions

on both sides of lreland!s
religious divide,

and why, to this day,
people march and counterdemonstrate

to commemorate this definitive
Catholic-Protestant encounter.

James, now more than ever convinced
that God had turned against him,

fled back to exile in France,

where he took up a rather comfortable
residence to the west of Paris.

Here, James lived out his days
as an ex-king

in the fractious little court

that he kept at this
chateau of Saint-Germain-en-Laye,

Louis XIV!s old palace
before he built Versailles.

James!s devotions
steadily became more eravagant,

and his mortification
ofthe flesh more ereme.

He died in 1701 ,

leaving a disastrous legacy of
uncompromising Catholic piety

to his son.

James was buried in France

in the hope that his bodywould be
reinterred in Westminster Abbey.

Instead, the French revolutionaries

first displayed it
as a tourist attraction

and then destroyed it.

William, meanwhile,
was not comfortable

in the old palace
that he was now inhabiting.

The palace ofWhitehall had been
built by Henry Vlll by the Thames.

William was asthmatic

and detested the palace!s
urban, riverside position

with its fogs and mists.

So too did Mary.

Instead, they longed for the modern,
comfortable residences

they!d been used to
in the Netherlands.

Within a few months, therefore,

the couple bought
the former Nottingham House

with its eensive gardens

and pleasant,
if rather suburban location,

on the western fringe of Hyde Park,

and rebuilt it at break-neck speed
as Kensington Palace.

The result,

described by one contemporary
as ffvery noble, though not great,!!

Was exactly the kind of residence
that William and Marywere used to

at Het Loo.

In England, it was a new palace
for a new, more modest monarchy.

Meanwhile, Whitehall was abandoned
for all save ceremonial occasions.

Neglected, like all underused
buildings, in 1698 it caught fire.

It was never rebuilt.

Perishing in the flames and ruins

was the great dynastic mural
of Henry Vlll and his family,

which, more than any other
single image,

represented the awesome powers
ofthe royal supremacy

over Church and state.

The Glorious Revolution had drawn
the sting from the supremacy

and its deadly fusion of religious
and political power.

Henry!s palace and his portrait

had survived the repudiation of
his legacy by less than a decade.

Those who watched the fire
at Westminster

knewthat by overthrowing
their anointed , legitimate king

and choosing another,

England had entered a dangerous
and unfamiliarworld.

None can have realised that it had
taken the first vital step

to becoming the first modern state.