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3 Oct 2014
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This Sceptred Isle

Highwaymen, the Rise of Marlborough and War with Spain
In the latter part of William's reign the Whigs and the Tories became very powerful. William knew that Anne would succeed and looked to Marlborough, who set out to unite the Tory party. Then the crisis in the Spanish monarchy occurred. France invaded the Spanish Netherlands, now Belgium. James II died and Louis XIV announced he recognized James Edward Stuart as James III of England and VIII of Scotland - the Old Pretender. England prepared for war. William III did not see battle again, he died in 1702. His reign had been dedicated to war with France.

Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough
Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough

  • Childhood friend of Queen Anne
  • Wife of John Churchill who became the First Duke of Marlborough
  • When Anne became queen, she dominated her household and became a very powerful political figure
  • In 1711, Queen Anne fell out with the Marlboroughs
  • They had two daughters, Henrietta who married Sidney Godolphin and Anne who married a son of the Earl of Sunderland
  • After Marlborough's death, lived the last years of her life completing the building of Blenheim Palace

did you know?
William of Orange died after a fall when his horse stumbled on a mole-hill at Hampton Court. The Jacobites toasted "the little gentleman in black velvet!"

The Act provided for the succession of a Protestant to the throne. In the event of William III and then Queen Anne dying childless the crown would then pass to Sophia, Electress of Hanover and her heirs.

The Act ensured the Hanoverian succession by passing over the superior hereditary rights of the Stuarts.

It required:

  • the sovereign to be an Anglican;
  • the sovereign to seek consent of Parliament before engaging in wars for the defence of possessions abroad not belonging to the Crown of England;
  • that only natives of Britain were eligible to hold office or receive grants of crown lands;
  • that judges were removable only by address by both Houses of Parliament;
  • that royal pardons were powerless to bar impeachments.
Select historical period

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1677Princess Mary marries William of Orange
1685Charles II dies
James II becomes king of England
Monmouth Rebellion put down
1687James II dissolves Parliament
1688 Seven 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
1690 Irish Jacobites defeated at Boyne
1691Treaty of Limerick
1694 Death of Mary II
1701Death of James II
Louis XIV of France recognizes the Old Pretender as king
1702Anne becomes queen
1704 Battle of Blenheim

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