Definitions for james ii. of england and vii. of scotland

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  1. James II. of England and VII. of Scotland

    the son of Charles I., reigned in succession to Charles II. from 1685 to 1688; during the Commonwealth he was a soldier in France and Spain; at the Restoration returned to England as Duke of York, and became Lord High Admiral; avowing himself a Catholic in 1671, the Test Act of 1673 enforced his resignation, and thenceforward repeated attempts were made to exclude him from the succession; on becoming king he promised to maintain the Church and to respect the liberties of the people, but his government all the same was arbitrary and tyrannical; he paraded his Catholicism, persecuted the Covenanters, subordinated English interests to French, permitted the "Bloody Assize," suspended the Test Act, violated the rights of the Universities, gave Church offices to Roman Catholics, and by these and many other acts of despotism made his deposition necessary; leading statesmen invited William of Orange to assume the throne, and James fled to France; an invasion of Ireland in 1689 ended in his defeat at Boyne Water; he retired again to France, and lived at St. Germains till his death (1633-1701).

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