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SUMMARY OF THE REIGN OF
JAMES THE SECOND.
Born at St. James's, October 14th, 1633. Proclaimcil, February 6th, 1685. Crowned 23d of April following. Married twice; first to Lady Anne Hyde Daughter to Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, and Lord Chancellor. Four Sons, who died infauts, and Four Daughters, Two of whom only lived to maturity, were issue of this marriage; and both those ladies succeede:l to the Throne, viz. Mary, married to William, Prince of Orange; and Anne, married to George, Prince of Denmark. The second Wife of King James was Maria Josepha of Este, Daughter to Alphonzo of Este, Duke of Modena, by Laurenza Martinozzi; by this Queen James had James Francis Edward, called by the Protestants, the Old Pretender; (this Prince died at Rome, in 1766, leaving Two Sons: Charles, called the Young Pretender, and James, Cardinal of York). By his latter marriage the King had also Four Daughters, one born after his exile, who all died young. By Mrs. Arabella Churchill, he had three natural Children; and one by Catherine Sedgely, Countess of Dorchestar. le died at St. Germain's, September 6th, 1701, in the 95th year of his age.
PRINCIPAL EVENTS. Titus Oates convicted of perjury. Monmouth's invasion. Battle of Sedgmoor. Capture and Execution of the Dake of Monmouth. Cruelties of Judge Jefferies and Colonel Kirke. Argyle's invasion, defeat, and execution. The King attempts to establish the Roman Catholic Religion, and sends an Embassy to Rome. Seven Bishops, who petition against innovation in matters of Religion, are sent to the Tower, tried, and acquitted. The Prince of Orange is applied to by
English; lands at Torbay. The King (deserted by the Army, Prince George of Denmark, and the Princess Anne,) endeavours to escape; is seized at Faversham, and brought to London. Makes a second escape, and leaves William of Nassau, and his Consort Mary, in quiet possession of the crown.
JAMES THE SECOND.
"I am now to prosecute this work, and give the relation of an
inglorious and unprosperous Reign, that began with great advantages; but these were so poorly managed, and so ill improved, that bad designs were ill laid and worse conducted; and all came, in conclusion, under one of the strangest catastrophes that is in any History. A great King, with strong armies and mighty fleets, a vast treasure, and powerful allies, fell all at once; and his whole strength, like a spider's web, was so irrecoverably broken with a touch, that he was never able to retrieve, what, for want of both judgment and heart, he threw up in a day.”
BISHOP BURNET'S HISTORY OF HIS OWN TIMES. “And when fairly turn’d out, only call'd it resigning."
T. DIBDIN's Song. “ Forsaken thus he other thoughts revolves, “ To quit the realm, and many a scheme resolves; “But let him go, nor heed, though thus you make “ The gentle Duke his lonely journey take.”
Hoole's ARIOSTO. “ Mais si vous abusez de ce Supreme Rang, “ Pour fouler a vos pieds les loix et la patrie “ Je la defends, Siegneur, au péril de ma vie."
Tho' poetry oft feigns, in sooth,
And themes to fill our volume choose,
Two Parliaments he first commands,
Now cruelty her sway denotes,
* Besides which the Scotch Parliament annexed the Duties of the Excise to the Crown for ever.
+ Oates, Dangerfield, and others, had perjured themselves in accusing James, while Duke of York, of a plot against his brother; the Author by no means seeks to extenuate this man's guilt, but to throw deserved odium on the sanguinary severity with which corporal punishments were inflicted in this Reign; compared to many of which hanging or decollation had been mild and merciful. Burnet, and other respected Historians, tell us that James was naturally cruel, and when in Scotland, rin his Brother's Reign) where several were tortured before the Privy Council, to
Who, tho' a perjured pedagogue, ;
Next MONMOUTH, in unlucky time,
force confession relative to plots, and where, to use the Prelate's words, " the sight was so dreadful, that without an order restraining such a member to stay, the board would be forsaken, the Duke was so far from withdrawing, that he looked on, all the while, with indifference, and with an attention as if he had been to look on some curious experiment; this gave a terrible idea of him to all that observed it, as of a man that had no bowels nor huntanity in him."
* The Earl of Feverslınm defeated Monmouth, (whose plea was, tliat Mrs. Barlow, also called Lucy Walters, his mother, bad been lawfully married to Charles II.); and the unfortunate Duke · was beheaded a mont' and four days from his ill-advised landing.