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Donald E. Wilkes, Jr. Collection: Encyclopedia

The Law Library thanks Research Assistant Savanna Nolan, (J.D. '13) for her assistance with this project.


1st Suspension of Habeas Corpus - After James II's short lived attempt to return to power, with the assistance of a French army sponsored by Louis XIV, Parliament passed a statute suspending the writ of Habeas Corpus for one month.

Archibald Campbell (student article)

Battle of Sedgemore - The final battle of Monmouth's rebellion. Sedgemore will be remembered for the military genius of Churchill and the brutal repression that followed which came to be known as the Bloody Assizes.

Bloody Assizes (student article)

Catherine of Braganza - Portuguese wife of Charles II. Did not produce any heirs in marriage to Charles.

Charles I (reigned 1625-1649) - Charles I, second of the Stewart Kings, suffered the indignity of being the first English Monarch publicly tried and executed. Charles committed many blunders, and was lacking in political savvy. The Petition of Right of 1628 was passed by Parliament during his reign, bringing to an end the practice of arbitrary imprisonment. The Petition was sparked by the jailing of the Six Knights in 1627, who had been thrown in prison by "Special order of the King" for refusal to pay a forced loan. Puritanism also continued to grow in England during this time, with as much as one-third of the Protestants belonging to non-Anglican sects.

The beheading of Charles I

From 1629-1640 Charles tried to rule without a Parliament; he relied on the advice of short-sighted and bigoted advisors like William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury. Laud was later imprisoned and executed by the Long Parliament. The first King to enter Parliament without permission, Charles was embarrassed by his failed attempt to arrest a number of Members of the House of Commons for treason.

In August of 1642 Charles, having withdrawn from London, raised his battle standard at Nottingham, thus beginning a Civil war with Parliament that lasted until 1648. After being defeated militarily, and falling into the hands of his enemies, Charles was tried before a special High Court of Justice, found guilty of treason, and sentenced to death. The execution (by beheading) took place in London on Jan. 30, 1649.

Charles II (reigned 1660-1685) - At the time of his father's execution, Charles II who was outside England, declared himself King. Much of his time in exile, from 1649 to 1660, was spent traveling around the continent, plotting to regain the throne. An ill-fated attempt to invade England and lead an uprising against Cromwell ended in his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651; Charles then returned to the Continent. The people of England were sick of the "puritanical gloom" of the Interregnum, and after the death of Oliver Cromwell in 1658, gladly welcomed Charles back as King in 1660. Charles' regaining of the throne in 1660 is known as "The Restoration." His death in Feb. 1685 was unexpected, coming after a sudden stroke at the age of 55.

Chief Justice George Jeffreys (student article)

Convention - An assembly of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons, the Convention convened on Jan. 22, 1689 to deal with the crisis created by the arrival of William , the flight of James II, the collapse of the government, and the disappearance of the Great Seal. On Feb. 12, 1689, the Convention approved the Declaration of Rights, which enumerated the crimes and illegalities of James II, declared the throne vacant, and resolved that William and Mary be made king and queen. On Feb. 20, 1689, one week after William and Mary became king and queen, the Convention enacted the Parliament Act of 1689, 1 W. & M., ch. 1, which transformed the convention into a Parliament, later known as the "Convention Parliament."

Daniel Defoe (student article)

Declaration of Rights (student article)

Dick Talbot - "Lying Dick Talbot," made Duke of Tyrconnell by James II in 1689, was part of James II's so-called "Catholic Cabal," a small, informal body of Catholic extremists who incited the King to drastic measures. He reportedly told James that it was he who had impregnated Anne Hyde so that James would not have marry her; but James' brother Charles convinced him to do so. A disreputable, violent swaggerer, Talbot was Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1687 and 1688

Duke of Monmouth (student article)

Duke of Monmouth's Rebellion (student article)

Edward Hyde (1607-1674) - Lord Chancellor from 1660 to 1667, during the reign of Charles II, Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, had gone into exile during the Interregnum. Hyde's daughter Anne was married to James II from 1660 until her death in 1671. Edward Hyde also authored History of the Rebellion, an account of the downfall of Charles I.

Edward Russell, Earl of Orford (student article)

Elizabeth Gaunt (student article)

English Bill of Rights and Its Influence on U.S. Constitution (student article)

Entrance of William - William's celebrated arrival in London.

Father Petre - Jesuit advisor to James II, was denied appointment to Cardinal by Pope Innocent XII. Considered untrustworthy and opportunistic. Fled during Glorious Revolution, died in obscurity.

Flight of James II - In late November, James II decided to flee to France with his wife, Mary of Modena) and his son (the new Prince of Wales, "The Great Pretender"). Disguising himself as a common sailor, in the early hours of Tuesday, Dec. 11, 1688, he crossed the Thames River in a rowboat, tossing the Great Seal into the river. Recognized and captured on a small coastal isle, James was detained in a nearby fishing village. James returned to London on Dec. 16. On orders of William, James left London for Rochester two days later. Fleeing from Rochester on Dec. 23, James again took flight for France, where he arrived near Calais two days later. James never returned to England.

Frederick Schomberg - The Duke of Schomberg served William as his second in command during the invasion of England.

Godden v. Hales - Contrived lawsuit used by James II to increase his power to suspend and dispense with the acts of Parliament.

Henry Compton (student article)

Invitation to William - Sent to the Prince of Orange by the "Immortal Seven" (highly respected figures of the time) the Invitation went out during the Trial of the Seven Bishops. The letter was carried to the Netherlands by Athur Herbert, Earl of Torrington. Identifying themselves by a secret code, the signatories made it clear to William that he could count on their certain support upon his landing. Signed by: William Cavendish, Charles Talbot, Thomas Osborne, Bishop of London Henry Compton, Edward Russell, Henry Sidney, and Richard Lumley.

James I - (reigned 1603-1625) - In 1603, Queen Elizabeth (last of the Tudors) died, leaving no children. She was replaced by her near relative James, who became the first of the Stewart Kings of England. James was considered educated, and authored a popular book on witchcraft. He also directed the publication of the Bible that remains in use to this day. The famous Gunpowder Plot occurred during his reign, only serving to increase the persecution of Catholics in England. A number of scandals during his administration, as well as his much-rumored homosexuality, brought suspicion on his rule. James reigned until 1625, when he died of natural causes. His ill-fated son, Charles I, was next in line to the throne.

James II (reigned 1685-1688) - In 1685, James II became King after the death of his older brother, Charles II. Like his brother Charles, James, who was Duke of York prior to becoming King, had many exciting adventures in Europe as a wandering prince in exile from 1649 to 1660. His first marriage was to Anne Hyde, who helped James convert to the Catholic faith in the late 1660's. Anne Hyde died in 1671. The daughters of James and Anne Hyde, Mary and Anne, would play an important part in the changes to come. In 1673 James married another Catholic, Mary of Modena, a young Italian princess. James was stubborn, and only put his trust in a few close conniving advisors and flatterers. Dull witted and pious, he surrounded himself with "yes men." and conspiratorial characters, such as Sunderland, Father Petre, and "Lying Dick" Talbot. James' attempts to increase the power of Catholics, through the Declarations of Indulgence in 1687 and 1688, only served to antagonize Parliament and the Anglican establishment. His short reign ended with the Glorious Revolution at the arrival of William, Prince of Orange. In late Dec. 1688, James, his wife, and their son, The Prince of Wales, who had been born in June 1688, fled to France. After 13 years of bitter exile, James died near Paris in 1701.

John Churchill (1650- 1722) - Churchill, made the 1st Duke of Marlborough during the reign of Queen Anne, was highly regarded for his military expertise. He was second in command of the Royal Army sent to supress Monmouth's Rebellion, and at the battle of Sedgemore he was chiefly responsible for the crushing royal victory. While he supported William's arrival, and led a military conspiracy against James II in 1688, he later fell into disfavor with the new monarchs.

John Evelyn

Judge Edward Herbert - Chancellor at time of Declaration of Rights

Lord Halifax (student article)

Louis XIV

Lucy Walter

Queen Anne, Daughter of James II (student article)

Queen Mary II, Daughter of James II (student article)

Queen Mary of Modena (student article)

Robert Spencer, Earl of Sunderland (student article)

Sir Edward Hales - Lieutenant of the Tower of London; he participated in collusionary lawsuit with James II to clarify the power of the King to dispense with laws passed by Parliament.

Sir Robert Wright - Chief Justice of the King's Bench, Wright was directed to join the Commission overseeing the investigation of Oxford University. The refusal of the University to accept a Catholic chancellor was one of many signs of dissastifaction with the policies of James II.

The Glorious Revolution in Ireland (student article)

Titus Oates - Ruthless and amoral, Titus Oates helped to inspire the "Popish Plot" of the late 1670's. Claiming that he had infiltrated a secret conspiracy to return the Catholic church to power, he gained the support of many influential figures. At least 20 innocents were executed because of his rants; but his acts did not go unpunished. One Edward Coleman, private secretary of James, was executed during the hysteria upon the discovery of personal letters he had written to Louis XIV supporting the promotion of Catholicism in England. He was finally silenced after being convicted of perjury in 1685. Sentenced to yearly whippings, he was not released until the arrival of William of Orange in 1688. He lived until 1705 in relative obscurity

Toleration Act (I William & Mary XVIII, May 24 1689) - Only applied to Protestant Dissenters (and therefore, Catholics contionued to be repressed), and even then only those who believed in the Trinity. Established a government policy against oppression of the Dissenter, even though ecclesiastic penal laws still remained (but would be unenforced). Many restrictions still remained, including registration of Dissenters and unlocked church door rules.

Trial of Lady Alice Lisle (student article)

Trial of Seven Bishops - When the Privy Council ordered the churches to read the King's Indulgence in church, many were caught in a conflict between their loyalty and their conscience. A group of Bishops prepared a traditional petition to present to James II, who responded by suing them for libel. Told that they were in rebellion, the Bishops pleas for reconciliation went unheeded. Because the Court of High Commission refused to hear the case, criminal charges were filed. On June 8, 1688, the trial begun. The Bishops pled the well established right or silence to avoid self-incrimination, which angered the unlearned James. During the trial, crowds gathered to show their support, cheering and bowing as they passed from the Tower to the Court. As this trial was for seditious libel (a misdemeanor), the defendants were allowed counsel for their defense. The jury was instructed to return a general verdict (very unusual in this kind of case), and the result was a complete acquittal, after a long and arduous deliberation.

The Seven Bishops were:

  • William Sancroft (Archbishop of Canterbury)
  • Thomas Ken (Bishop of Bath & Wells)
  • John Lake (Bishop of Chichester)
  • Jonathan Trelawny (Bishop of Bristol)
  • William Llyod (Bishop of St. Asaph)
  • Francis Turner (Bishop of Ely)
  • Thomas White (Bishop of Peterborough).

William III, Prince of Orange (student article)

William Penn (student article)

William's landing in England - Unexpectedly landing in the West, it was ten days before his most prestigious supporters arrived to join his standard. James was quickly notified, but his reaction was lethargic. Unaware of the fact that Churchill had been plotting a conspiracy within the Army, it is uncertain that the military would have been willing to fight, even if pressed. William's forces easily progressed Eastward, only meeting token resistance. Taking on the nature of a triumphant progression, he entered Exeter.

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