King James II(1633-1701), Reigned 1685-88
Sitter associated with 134 portraits
James II became king in 1685 as his brother Charles II left no legitimate heir. Before inheriting the throne, James took an active role in politics. He championed English commercial interests, becoming governor of the Royal Fisheries Company and the Royal Africa Company which had a monopoly over the trade in enslaved Africans across the Atlantic. A convert to Roman Catholicism ruling a largely Protestant population, he advocated greater tolerance towards Catholics in his Declaration of Indulgence of 1687. When the Archbishop of Canterbury and six bishops requested he reconsider, they were arrested. In 1688, a group of Protestant nobles asked William, Prince of Orange to come to England with an army. James fled to France, where he lived in exile for the rest of his life, while William of Orange and his wife Mary, James's Protestant daughter, reigned in Britain.
More on King James II: Monarchs range in our Shops | Kings & Queens range in our Shops | Pepys and his Contemporaries book in our Shops
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
by Henry Hering
albumen carte-de-visite photomontage, 1862
- Queen Anne (daughter)
- Anne of Denmark (grandmother)
- Princess Anne (sister)
- Anne Hyde, Duchess of York (wife)
- James Fitzjames, Duke of Berwick upon Tweed (son)
- King Charles I (father)
- King Charles II (brother)
- Prince Charles Edward Stuart (grandson)
- Lady Catherine Darnley (daughter)
- Princess Elizabeth (sister)
- Henry, Duke of Gloucester (brother)
- Isabella Stuart (daughter)
- King James I of England and VI of Scotland (grandfather)
- James Scott, Duke of Monmouth and Buccleuch (nephew)
- Prince James Francis Edward Stuart (son)
- Princess Louisa Maria Theresa Stuart (daughter)
- Henrietta Maria (mother)
- Queen Mary II (daughter)
- Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange (sister)
- Mary of Modena (wife)
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