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The Invitation to William was a letter sent by seven notable English nobles, later called "the Immortal Seven", to stadtholder William III, Prince of Orange, received by him on 30 June 1688 (Julian calendar, 10 July Gregorian calendar). In England, the heir apparent to the throne, James Francis Edward Stuart, had just been born to the unpopular King James II of England, and baptised a Catholic. The letter asked William, who was a nephew and son-in-law of James II, to use military intervention to force the king to make his eldest daughter, Mary, William's Protestant wife, his heir. The letter alleged that the newborn prince was an impostor.
The letter informed William that if he were to land in England with a small army, the signatories and their allies would rise up and support him. The Invitation briefly rehashed the grievances against King James. It claimed that the king's son was supposititious (fraudulently substituted) and that the English people generally believed him to be so.The present consensus among historians is that he was almost certainly their real son. The letter deplored that William had sent a letter to James congratulating him for the birth of his son, and offered some brief strategy on the logistics of the proposed landing of troops. It was carried to William in The Hague by Rear Admiral Arthur Herbert (the later Lord Torrington) disguised as a common sailor, and identified by a secret code.
The invitation caused William to carry out his existing plans to land with a large Dutch army, culminating in the Glorious Revolution during which James was deposed and replaced by William and Mary as joint rulers. William and Mary had previously asked for such an invitation when William started to assemble an invasion force in April of that year. This request was done through secret correspondence that had been taking place since April 1687, between them and several leading English politicians, regarding how best to counter the pro-Catholic policies of James. William later justified his invasion by the fact that he was invited, which helped to disguise the military, cultural and political impact that the Dutch regime had on England at a time his reign was unpopular and he feared a popular uprising.
The signatories were:
Danby and Compton were generally considered to be Tories (court party), the other five as Whigs (country party).
After William's rise to power, five were elevated further in the peerage; Russell was made a peer with the mid-rank of Earl; and Compton as Bishop of London had his suspension (for refusing to suspend strongly anti-Catholic reverend John Sharp), running into a third year, lifted and performed the Coronation, granted lands granted in Maryland to his second cousin, and became a commissioner in revision of the litany.
The Glorious Revolution, or Revolution of 1688, was the November 1688 deposition and subsequent replacement of James II and VII as ruler of England, Scotland and Ireland by his daughter Mary II and his Dutch nephew and Mary's husband, William III of Orange. The outcome of events in all three kingdoms and Europe, the Revolution was quick and relatively bloodless, though establishing the new regime took much longer and led to significant casualties. The term was first used by John Hampden in late 1689.
Mary II was Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland, co-reigning with her husband, King William III & II, from 1689 until her death. Popular histories usually refer to their joint reign as that of William and Mary.
Charles II was king of England, Scotland, and Ireland. He was king of Scotland from 1649 until his deposition in 1651, and king of England, Scotland and Ireland from the 1660 Restoration of the monarchy until his death in 1685.
William III, also widely known as William of Orange, was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from the 1670s and King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death. Popular histories usually refer to his joint reign with his wife, Queen Mary II, as that of William and Mary. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is sometimes informally known as "King Billy" in Northern Ireland and Scotland, where his victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 is still commemorated by Unionists and Ulster loyalists.
James Francis Edward Stuart, nicknamed The Old Pretender by Whigs, was the son of King James II and VII of England, Scotland and Ireland, and his second wife, Mary of Modena. He was Prince of Wales from July 1688 until, just months after his birth, his Catholic father was deposed and exiled in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. James II's Protestant elder daughter, Mary II, and her husband, William III, became co-monarchs and the Bill of Rights 1689 and Act of Settlement 1701 excluded Catholics from the English then, subsequently, British throne.
William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Devonshire was an English soldier, nobleman, and Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1661 to 1684 when he inherited his father's peerage as Earl of Devonshire. He was part of the "Immortal Seven" group that invited William III, Prince of Orange to depose James II of England as monarch during the Glorious Revolution, and was rewarded with the elevation to Duke of Devonshire in 1694.
The House of Stuart, originally Stewart, was a royal house of Scotland, England, Ireland and later Great Britain, with historical connections to Brittany. The family name itself comes from the office of High Steward of Scotland, which had been held by the family scion Walter fitz Alan. The name "Stewart" and variations had become established as a family name by the time of his grandson, Walter Stewart. The first monarch of the Stewart line was Robert II whose descendants were kings and queens of Scotland from 1371 until the union with England in 1707. Mary, Queen of Scots was brought up in France where she adopted the French spelling of the name, Stuart.
Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds, KG, was an English politician who was part of the Immortal Seven group that invited William III, Prince of Orange to depose James II of England as monarch during the Glorious Revolution. He was commonly known as Lord Danby and Marquess of Carmarthen when he was a prominent political figure, served in a variety of offices under Kings Charles II and William III of England. He was a prominent politician who had fallen out of favour due to corruption and other scandals but was restored to prominence under William.
Charles Talbot, 1st Duke of Shrewsbury, KG, PC was an English politician who was part of the Immortal Seven group that invited William III, Prince of Orange, to depose James II of England as monarch during the Glorious Revolution. He was appointed to several minor roles before the revolution, but came to prominence as a member of William's government. Born to Roman Catholic parents, he remained in that faith until 1679 when—during the time of the Popish Plot and following the advice of the divine John Tillotson—he converted to the Church of England. Shrewsbury took his seat in the House of Lords in 1680 and three years later was appointed Gentleman-Extraordinary of the Bedchamber, suggesting he was in favour at the court of Charles II.
Henry Compton was the Bishop of London from 1675 to 1713.
Admiral Arthur Herbert, 1st Earl of Torrington was an English admiral and politician. Dismissed by King James II in 1688 for refusing to vote to repeal the Test Act, which prevented Roman Catholics from holding public office, he brought the Invitation to William to the Prince of Orange at The Hague, disguised as a simple sailor. As a reward he was made commander of William's invasion fleet which landed at Torbay in Devon on 5 November 1688 thus initiating the Glorious Revolution.
Richard Lumley, 1st Earl of Scarbrough, was an English soldier and statesman best known for his role in the Glorious Revolution.
The Seven Bishops were members of the Church of England tried and acquitted for seditious libel in June 1688.
Hans William Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland, Baron Bentinck of Diepenheim and Schoonheten, was a Dutch and English nobleman who became in an early stage the favourite of William, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder in the Netherlands, and future King of England. He was reportedly steady, sensible, modest and usually moderate. The friendship and cooperation stopped in 1699.
James II and VII 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; his reign is now remembered primarily for struggles over religious tolerance. However, it also involved the principles of absolutism and divine right of kings and his deposition ended a century of political and civil strife by confirming the primacy of Parliament over the Crown.
Events from the year 1688 in England. This was the year of the Glorious Revolution that overthrew King James II.
James Bertie, 1st Earl of Abingdon, styled Hon. James Bertie until 1657 and known as the 5th Baron Norreys from 1657 until 1682, was an English nobleman.
William Hendrik of Nassau, Lord of Zuylestein, 1st Earl of Rochford was a Dutch soldier and diplomat in the service of his cousin William III of England. During the reign of James II of England he travelled to England to liaise with William's English supporters, and played an important part in the preparations of the Glorious Revolution.
The Glorious Revolution in Scotland was part of a wider series of events between 1688–1689 in England and Scotland known as the Glorious Revolution. It covers the deposition of James VII, his replacement by his daughter Mary II and her husband William III of Orange and the political settlement thereafter. Scotland and England were linked but separate countries, each with its own Parliament; decisions in one did not bind the other.