Portrait of James II and VII (1633-1701), King of England and Scotland (1685-1688), Duke of York and Heir to the throne (1660-1685), Lord High Admiral of England and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports (1660-1673), Lord High Admiral of Scotland (1673-1688), Lord High Commissioner to the Parliament of Scotland (1680-1685), 1686
James II and VII (14 October 1633 – 16 September 1701) was King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He was the last Roman Catholic monarch of England, Scotland and Ireland. The second surviving son of Charles I, he ascended the throne upon the death of his brother, Charles II. Members of Britain's Protestant political elite increasingly suspected him of being pro-French and pro-Catholic and of having designs on becoming an absolute monarch. When he produced a Catholic heir, a son called James Francis Edward, leading nobles called on his Protestant son-in-law and nephew William III of Orange to land an invasion army from the Dutch Republic, which he did in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. James fled England (and thus was held to have abdicated). He was replaced by his Protestant eldest daughter Mary II and her husband William III. James made one serious attempt to recover his crowns from William and Mary when he landed in Ireland in 1689. After the defeat of the Jacobite forces by the Williamites at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690, James returned to France. He lived out the rest of his life as a pretender at a court sponsored by his cousin and ally, King Louis XIV. James is best known for his struggles with the English Parliament and his attempts to create religious liberty for English Roman Catholics and Protestant nonconformists, against the wishes of the Anglican establishment. This tension made James's four-year reign a struggle for supremacy between Parliament and the Crown. After Richard Cromwell's resignation as Lord Protector in 1659 and the subsequent collapse of the Commonwealth in 1660, Charles II was restored to the English throne. Although James was the heir presumptive, it seemed unlikely that he would inherit the Crown, as Charles was still a young man capable of fathering children. On 31 December 1660, following his brother's restoration, James was created Duke of Albany in Scotland, to go along with his English title, Duke of York. After the Restoration, James was confirmed as Lord High Admiral, an office that carried with it the subsidiary appointments of Governor of Portsmouth and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.
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