James II

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James II,

c.1260–1327, king of Aragón and count of Barcelona (1291–1327), king of Sicily (1285–95). He succeeded his father, Peter III, in Sicily and his brother, Alfonso III, in Aragón. James defended Sicily against the claims of Charles IICharles II
(Charles the Lame), 1248–1309, king of Naples (1285–1309), count of Anjou and Provence, son and successor of Charles I. In the war of the Sicilian Vespers between Charles I and Peter III of Aragón for possession of Sicily, Charles was captured
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 of Naples until 1295, when he relinquished the island in exchange for the title to Sardinia and Corsica. (Sardinia was annexed in 1323–24, but he did not take Corsica.) James later supported Charles against the former's own brother, who had been proclaimed king of Sicily as Frederick IIFrederick II,
1272–1337, king of Sicily (1296–1337), 3d son of Peter III of Aragón. When his brother, who was king of Sicily, became (1291) king of Aragón as James II, Frederick was his regent in Sicily.
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. James was succeeded in Aragón by his son Alfonso IV.

James II,

1633–1701, king of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1685–88); second son of Charles I, brother and successor of Charles IICharles II,
1630–85, king of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1660–85), eldest surviving son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria. Early Life

Prince of Wales at the time of the English civil war, Charles was sent (1645) to the W of England with his council,
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Early Life

As the young duke of York James was surrendered (1646) to the parliamentary forces at the end of the first civil war, but he escaped (1648) to the Continent and served in the French (1652–55) and Spanish (1658) armies. At the Restoration (1660) he returned to England, married Anne Hyde, daughter of the 1st earl of Clarendon, and was made lord high admiral, in which capacity he served (1665, 1672) in the Dutch WarsDutch Wars,
series of conflicts between the English and Dutch during the mid to late 17th cent. The wars had their roots in the Anglo-Dutch commercial rivalry, although the last of the three wars was a wider conflict in which French interests played a primary role.
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. Charles II granted him sweeping proprietary rights in America, and the captured Dutch settlement New Amsterdam was renamed (1664) New York in his honor.

Effect of James's Catholicism

James was converted to Roman Catholicism probably in 1668—a step that was to have grave consequences. After his resignation (1673) as admiral because of the Test ActTest Act,
1673, English statute that excluded from public office (both military and civil) all those who refused to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, who refused to receive the communion according to the rites of the Church of England, or who refused to renounce belief
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 and his marriage (1673) to the staunchly Catholic Mary of ModenaMary of Modena
, 1658–1718, queen consort of James II of England; daughter of Alfonso IV, duke of Modena. Her marriage (1673) to James, then duke of York, was brought about through the influence of Louis XIV of France.
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 (his first wife having died in 1671), he became increasingly unpopular in England. James consented to the marriage (1677) of his daughter Mary (later Mary IIMary II,
1662–94, queen of England, wife of William III. The daughter of James II by his first wife, Anne Hyde, she was brought up a Protestant despite her father's adoption of Roman Catholicism. In 1677 she married her cousin William of Orange and went with him to Holland.
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) to the Protestant prince of Orange (later William IIIWilliam III,
1650–1702, king of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1689–1702); son of William II, prince of Orange, stadtholder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, and of Mary, oldest daughter of King Charles I of England.
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), and the couple became the heirs presumptive, after James, to the English throne. In the anti-Catholic hysteria that accompanied the false accusations of Titus OatesOates, Titus,
1649–1705, English conspirator. An Anglican priest whose whole career was marked with intrigue and scandal, he joined forces with one Israel Tonge to invent the story of the Popish Plot of 1678.
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 about the Popish Plot (1678), efforts were made by the so-called WhigsWhig,
English political party. The name, originally a term of abuse first used for Scottish Presbyterians in the 17th cent., seems to have been a shortened form of whiggamor [cattle driver]. It was applied (c.
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 to exclude James from the succession. Charles stood by his brother, preventing passage of the Exclusion Bill, but sent him out of the country. After a period as commissioner (1680–82) in Scotland, James returned to England, and particularly after the Rye House PlotRye House Plot,
1683, conspiracy to assassinate Charles II of England and his brother James, duke of York (later James II), as they passed by Rumbold's Rye House in Hertfordshire on the road from Newmarket to London.
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 (1683) his fortunes rose.


When Charles died in 1685, James succeeded peacefully to the throne. An uprising led by the duke of MonmouthMonmouth, James Scott, duke of
, 1649–85, pretender to the English throne; illegitimate son of Charles II of England by Lucy Walter. After his mother's death, he was cared for by Lord Crofts, by whose name the boy was known. In 1662, James went to live at Charles's court.
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 was crushed (1685), but the severe reprisals of the Bloody Assizes under Baron Jeffreys of WemJeffreys of Wem, George Jeffreys, 1st Baron,
1645?–1689, English judge under Charles II and James II. A notoriously cruel judge, he presided over many of the trials connected with the Popish Plot (see Oates,
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 added to the animosity toward James. The king favored autocratic methods, proroguing the hostile Parliament (1685), reviving the old ecclesiastical court of high commission, and interfering with the courts and with local town and county government. His principal object was to fill positions of authority and influence with Roman Catholics, and to this end he issued two declarations of indulgence (1687, 1688), suspending the laws against Catholics and dissenters.

Defiance and dislike of him grew, fed by the trial (1688) of seven bishops who had refused to read his second declaration. The birth of a son, who would have succeeded instead of the Protestant William and Mary, helped to bring the opposition to a head. William of Orange was invited to England by Whig and ToryTory
, English political party. The term was originally applied to outlaws in Ireland and was adopted as a derogatory name for supporters of the duke of York (later James II) at the time (c.
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 leaders. The unpopular, autocratic, and Catholic king had few loyal followers and was unable to defend himself. He fled, was captured, and was allowed to escape to France, and William and Mary took the throne. The so-called Glorious RevolutionGlorious Revolution,
in English history, the events of 1688–89 that resulted in the deposition of James II and the accession of William III and Mary II to the English throne. It is also called the Bloodless Revolution.
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 had succeeded.

Attempts at Restoration

James made an effort to restore himself by landing in Ireland in 1689 and leading his many Catholic followers there, but the effort failed at the battle of the BoyneBoyne,
river, c.70 mi (110 km) long, rising in the Bog of Allen, Co. Kildare, E Republic of Ireland, and flowing NE through Co. Meath, past Trim, to the Irish Sea near Drogheda. Salmon is caught in the river.
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 (1690). Other projects for restoration failed, and James's supporter, Louis XIV, recognized William III in the Treaty of Ryswick (1697). The cause of James's son and grandson was upheld later by the JacobitesJacobites
, adherents of the exiled branch of the house of Stuart who sought to restore James II and his descendants to the English and Scottish thrones after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. They take their name from the Latin form (Jacobus) of the name James.
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 long after James had died in inglorious exile.


See his early memoirs (tr. 1962); biographies by H. Belloc (1928, repr. 1971), F. G. Turner (1948), and V. Buranelli (1962); D. Ogg, England in the Reigns of James II and William III (1955, repr. 1969); J. P. Kenyon, The Stuarts (1958, repr. 1966); J. Childs, The Army, James II and the Glorious Revolution (1981).

James II,

1315–49, king of Majorca (1324–49), count of Roussillon and Cerdagne, lord of Montpellier; grandson of James I, nephew and successor of Sancho IV. In 1329 he declared himself a vassal of the Aragonese crown. Accusing James of illegal acts, Peter IV of Aragón invaded and conquered Majorca (1343) and Roussillon (1344) and annexed them to Aragón. James tried to recover his kingdom, but was defeated and killed in battle on Majorca. His son, James III, tried unsuccessfully to recover the kingdom in 1375.

James II,

1430–60, king of Scotland (1437–60), son and successor of James I. During his minority successive earls of Douglas vied for power with factions led by Sir William Crichton and Sir Alexander Livingstone. The power of the Douglases was temporarily broken (1440) by the judicial murder of William DouglasDouglas, William, 6th earl of Douglas,
1423?–1440, Scottish nobleman, eldest son of Archibald Douglas, 5th earl of Douglas.
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, the 6th earl, but the king later allied himself with William Douglas, the 8th earl, to overthrow Crichton and Livingstone. By 1450, James ruled in his own right. When in 1452 the king discovered Douglas in a conspiracy, James called him to Stirling, charged him with betrayal, and stabbed him. After the resulting rebellion, the king attainted James DouglasDouglas, James, 9th earl of Douglas,
1426–88, Scottish nobleman, last earl of Douglas. Following the murder of his brother William, the 8th earl, by James II, he led a rebellion against the king in 1452 but was
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, the 9th earl, and seized the Douglas lands. During his reign James improved the justice courts and regulated the coinage. A Lancastrian partisan in the Wars of the RosesRoses, Wars of the,
traditional name given to the intermittent struggle (1455–85) for the throne of England between the noble houses of York (whose badge was a white rose) and Lancaster (later associated with the red rose).

About the middle of the 15th cent.
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, he invaded England and was accidentally killed at the siege of Roxburgh. His son James III succeeded him.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

James II


known as The Just (Jaime II el Justiciero). Born circa 1264; died Nov. 2 or 3, 1327, in Barcelona. King of Aragón from 1291, and of Sicily from 1285 to 1295 (he renounced the Sicilian throne under pressure from Pope Boniface VIII, who hoped to reestablish the Angevin dynasty in Sicily).

In 1297, James was given Sardinia as a fief by Pope Boniface VIII; its conquest by Aragón was completed in 1323–24. Work on the legal code of Aragón continued under James’ rule, and various compilations of laws were begun. During his reign, the southern boundaries of Aragón were strengthened and new territories were annexed along its northern borders.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

James II

1. 1430--60, king of Scotland (1437--60), son of James I
2. 1633--1701, king of England, Ireland, and, as James VII, of Scotland (1685--88); son of Charles I. His pro-Catholic sympathies and arbitrary rule caused the Whigs and Tories to unite in inviting his eldest surviving daughter, Mary, and her husband, William of Orange, to take the throne as joint monarchs. James was defeated at the Boyne (1690) when he attempted to regain the throne
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
When James II surrounded himself with Roman Catholics and steadily pushed them by royal writ into stations of power and influence--from lowly guild warden-ships to posts in the royal administration, army, and navy--there were many prepared to take offense.
Removing religion from a central role in the Revolution also means reinterpreting James II's Declaration of Indulgence, which granted broad toleration for religious worship.
James II represents yet another example of a too rarely explored, but no less brilliant chapter of black America's legacy of business achievement.
Charles II did become a Catholic on his deathbed and his brother James II, who converted earlier in his adult life, did follow his brother to the throne in 1685, in that faith.
Anyway, time there was a sequel - he was followed by James II, followed by William of Orange.
Charles Carroll's grandfather, also named Charles Carroll, sailed to Maryland in 1688 after briefly serving the faltering court of James II. Carroll was an ambitious lawyer, and he set sail to the proprietary colony commissioned by the third Lord Baltimore to serve as Maryland's attorney general.
By the time of James II in 1450 scruffs could face fines of pounds 200 - equivalent to pounds 100,000 at today's prices.
When James II succeeded Charles II and again made gestures toward autocratic rule, he was overthrown in the bloodless "Glorious Revolution" of 1688 and William of Orange raised up in his stead.
Any list of hopeless monarchs would have to include William II, John, Edward II, Richard II, Henry VI, Edward V, Edward VI, Mary I, Charles I, James II, George III, and Edward VIII.
Every summer, members of the Orange Order and the "Apprentice Boys" (another ostensibly Protestant organization) march through the Catholic ghettos of Porladown, Derry and other towns to celebrate the military victory of William of Orange (a Protestant) over James II (a Catholic) over three centuries ago, thumbing their noses at fire descendants of the vanquished.
He was imprisoned twice for remaining loyal to James II and for a time lived under sentence of outlawry.
England had more or less impatiently borne with James II since his accession three years before, waiting for him to be succeeded by his Protestant daughter, Mary (1662-1694).