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The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688

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The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688

by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, based on a work of circa 1689
38 in. x 33 in. (965 mm x 838 mm)
Purchased, 1859
Primary Collection
NPG 79

Artistback to top

  • Unknown artist, Artist. Artist or producer associated with 6578 portraits.

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This portraitback to top

When James II began to infringe the religious monopoly of the Church of England he lost the support of many Anglican clergy. After the second Declaration of Indulgence (1688) which suspended the Test Act, William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, and six other bishops petitioned the king against it. Sent to the Tower and tried and acquitted for seditious libel, the bishops became popular heroes and the episode undermined James's authority.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D9284: The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688 (after)
  • NPG D9286: The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688 (after)
  • NPG D30898: The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688 (after)
  • NPG D30897: The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688 (after)
  • NPG D19922: The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688 (after)
  • NPG D11942: The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688 (after)
  • NPG D30899: The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688 (after)
  • NPG D9285: The Seven Bishops Committed to the Tower in 1688 (after)

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1689back to top

Current affairs

William III is crowned jointly with his wife Mary II in Westminster Abbey in an unprecedented coronation of two monarchs.
The Bill of Rights is passed establishing the supremacy of Parliament, while limiting the power of the Crown.
Scottish Jacobites defeat Williamite troops at the Battle of Killiiecrankie.

Art and science

Thomas Shadwell, appointed poet laureate and historiographer royal, replaces John Dryden, his literary adversary.
John Riley and Godfrey Kneller are jointly appointed principal painter to the king.
Composer Henry Purcell presents his opera, Dido and Aeneas, at Josias Priest's girls' school.

International

Supported by Irish Catholics, deposed James II lands in Ireland with French troops commanded by Duc de Lauzun. Within months, James and Jacobite, Richard Talbot, Earl of Tyrconnel convene the 'Patriot Parliament' which re-establishes Catholics into government and repeals the Act of Settlement (1652), restoring confiscated lands to Catholic owners.

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