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3 Oct 2014
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This Sceptred Isle

James II and the Monmouth Rebellion
James II came to the throne in 1685. He immediately tried to convert the country back to Catholicism, James believed the way to achieve this lay with the army. He put down the great rebellion led by James, Duke of Monmouth, a Protestant, who claimed a right to the throne as Charles II's bastard son. James thus started his reign from a position of strength.

James sent his Chief Justice, Judge Jeffreys to deal with the prisoners in the West Country, Monmouth was executed.

Duke of Monmouth
Duke of Monmouth

  • Illegitimate son of Charles II and Lucy Walter
  • His father made him , a duke in 1663
  • Fought in the Third Dutch War as Captain General, Monmouth
  • As a Protestant, he was seen as an alternative to James II
  • Monmouth's Rebellion (1685) was a failure
  • Abandoned his troops but was captured and executed

did you know?
James II was the first Catholic monarch since Mary I 100 years before.

When James II came to the throne Parliament was dominated by the Tories. Out of 513 MPs only 57 were Whigs.


  • Mr Howard for tuning Miss Betty Grimston's harpsicals: 5s
  • Mr Barking, for drawing my master's tooth: 10s
  • Silk to make Miss Mary a coat: £1.12s
February and March
  • For a looking glass for Miss Elizabeth Grimston: £1.10s
  • For cutting both the children's hair: 10s
  • For cutting the page's hair: 6d
  • The huntsman's board-wages, ten weeks and a half: £2.2s
  • Miss Grimston's singing master for a month: £2
  • For corsets to Miss Mary: £6.9s
  • A dancing book for the page, the page's stockings with green tops: £1.12s
  • For a bathing tub: £1.5s
  • For a French Grammar: 2s.6d
  • Aesop's Fables: 4s
  • A fiddler for Miss Grimston's birthday: 5s
  • Mr Isaac, for teaching the two ladies to dance: £12
  • Mr Pesgrave, for setting Mary's arm: £2
Select historical period

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1658Oliver Cromwell dies
1660Charles II signs the Declaration of Breda
Charles II is restored to the throne
1662Charles II marries Catherine of Braganza
1665The Great Plague
1666The Fire of London
1672Charles II issues the Declaration of Indulgence
1677Princess Mary marries William of Orange
1685Charles II dies
James II becomes king of England
Monmouth Rebellion put down
1687James II dissolves Parliament
1688Seven bishops imprisoned
Birth of James's son
William of Orange lands in England
James flees abroad
1689William III and Mary II become king and queen of England

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