James II of England
James II of England/VII of Scotland (1633–1701) was king of England and Ireland from 1685 until 1688, and king of Scotland from 1685 until 1689. He was the second son of Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria, and brother of Charles II. As a Roman Catholic, he was unpopular because he tried to force Protestant England to become Catholic. He was forced to give up his rule in 1688, during the Glorious Revolution, after which William III became king with his wife, Mary II. James died, exiled in France, in 1701.
- "The divisions among Protestants and the necessity of an infallible judge to decide controversies, together with some promises which Christ made to his church in general that the gates of hell should not prevail against it and some others made to St Peter, and there being no person that pretends to infallibility but the Bishop of Rome."
- His reasons for changing his religion from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism.
- Simple: The split among Protestants and the need of a faultless judge to decide how to resolve disputes, together with some promises which Jesus Christ made to his church in general, that the gates of hell should not win against it, and some other promises made to Saint Peter. There is no person who pretends to be perfect but the Pope in Rome.
- "If occasion were, I hope God would give me his grace to suffer death for the true Catholic religion as well as banishment."
- Speaking about his exile from England after changing his religion. He was asked to leave for a short time by his brother, because changing his religion caused political problems.
- Simple: If needed, I hope God would give me his grace to die for the true Catholic religion as well as exile.
- "Matters were come to such a head that the monarchy must be either more absolute or quite abolished."
- To his brother, Charles II, about the people who wished to stop him becoming king. This was referred to as the Exclusion Bill.
- Simple: Matters have come to a point that that the monarchy must either be more dominant or put to an end.
- "I shall make it my endeavour to preserve the government in Church and State as it is by law established."
- Speaking shortly after becoming king. He later regretted the statement when he tried to make England Catholic again.
- Simple: I shall do what I can to keep the rule in Church and State as it is fixed by law.
- "This would be a very improper method to take with me; the best way to engage me to meet you often is to use me well."
- Speaking to the English Parliament, which did not want to give James more money.
- Simple: This would be a very wrong method to take up with me; the best way to make me meet you often is to treat me well.
- "T'was the divine Providence that drove me early out of my native country, and t'was the same providence ordered it so that I past most of the twelve years I was abroad in Catholic kingdoms, by which means I came to know what their religion was."
- Speaking about his religion.
- Simple: It was the power of God that, early on, forced me out of my home country, and it was the same power of God that ordered most my twelve years abroad to be spent in Catholic countries, by which found out what their religion was.
- "God Almighty be praised by whose blessing that rebellion was suppressed...Let no man take exception that there are some officers in the Army not qualified according to the Tests for their employments...I think them now fit to be employed under me, and will deal plainly with you, that after having had the benefit of their services in such a time of need and danger, I will neither expose them to disgrace, nor myself to the want of them, if there should be another rebellion to make them necessary to me."
- Simple: God be praised, by whose grace that rebellion was crushed...Let no man take privilege that there are some officers in the Army who are not skilled for the tests of their jobs...I think that they are now skilled to be employed by me, and I will say plainly, that after having had the help of their services in times of need and danger, I will not disgrace them, nor myself if they are needed, if there should be another rebellion to make them necessary.
- "I see God Almighty continues his Protection to me by bringing the wind westerly again."
- Speaking as William III's army was preparing to invade England. The wind later changed direction, and William was not held up by weather.
- Simple: I see almighty God continues his care of me by bringing the wind west again.
- W. A. Speck, ‘James II and VII (1633–1701)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Oct 2008 accessed 18 Nov 2008
- Clarke, Life, 1.659–60
- Charles had no surviving children by his wife, and therefore James was next in line.
- Clarke, Life, 2.4
- Clarke, Life, 2.14
- Clarke, Life, 2.49
- Clarke, J. S. (1816). The life of James the Second (2 volumes). London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown.
- Speck, W.A., James II and VII (1633–1701), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Oct 2008 accessed 18 Nov 2008