King William at the Boyne


King William III was closely related to his opponent James II, the deposed Catholic King. Although his father, William II of Orange, was the Stadtholder of Holland, William's mother was Mary, daughter of King Charles I, and he was married to James's daughter, also called Mary. So that James was his uncle as well as his father-in-law. William was a keen soldier and champion of the Protestants of Europe. His arch enemy was Louis XIV whose Catholic forces had almost destroyed the Dutch Republic in 1672. His entry into England as the new king is known as the Glorious Revolution, and his subsequent victory in Ireland established him as 'King Billy' the hero of Protestant Northern Ireland.


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by Stephen Luscombe