The Glorious Revolution is the name given to the taking over of the English throne in 1688 by William of Orange and Mary, eldest daughter of Charles I.
Mary was born on 30th April 1662, the eldest daughter of James, Duke of York (future James II) and his first wife, Anne Hyde. Mary was brought up as a Protestant and at the age of 15 was married to her cousin William, Prince of Orange and went to live in the Netherlands.
William was born on 4th November 1650, the only child of William II, Prince of Orange and Mary, eldest daughter of Charles I. William was a committed Protestant and strove to reduce the influence of Catholic Spain and France. He hoped marriage to Mary would strengthen ties with England and gain English support against France and Spain.
In 1685, Mary’s father James became King of England, Scotland and Ireland. James, who had married for the second time in 1673 to the Catholic Mary of Modena, was known to be a Catholic and his pro-Catholic policies alarmed members of Parliament who did not want a return to Catholicism. When Mary of Modena gave birth to a son, James Francis Edward Stuart in 1688 alarm increased and parliament invited William of Orange and Mary to take the throne.
The Glorious Revolution of 1688 saw William land on English soil with a Dutch army virtually unopposed. James II fled to France – an action that was deemed as abdication by Parliament.
William and Mary were jointly crowned monarchs of England, Scotland and Ireland on 11th April 1689. Mary died in 1694 and William then ruled until his death in 1702