| Our Island Story|
|by H. E. Marshall|
|A child's history of England from earliest legendary times delightfully retold. Beginning with the stories of Albion and Brutus, it relates all the interesting legends and hero tales in which the history of England abounds through the end of the reign of Queen Victoria. Ages 9-12 |
JAMES II. OF ENGLAND AND VII. OF SCOTLAND—WILLIAM THE DELIVERER
 ANY one could see that the people were everywhere ready for
rebellion. The King alone would not see it and went on in
his own way. He was angry and sullen, but very obstinate. "I
will not give way," he said, "my father lost his head by
giving way," and he resolved to punish the people.
But James had gone too far. The people were weary of a
Popish tyrant, and they made up their minds to have a
Protestant King. So they asked William, Prince of Orange, to
come to rule over them, the Prince against whom Charles
II. had fought in the Dutch wars.
William had some claim to the
throne. I will explain how.
Charles I. had a daughter called Mary. She married a Prince
of Orange called William, and their son, also called
William, was now Prince of Orange. He was thus the nephew of
Charles II. and of James II., and besides this he had
married his cousin, Mary, the eldest daughter of James II.
Although their father, James, was a Roman Catholic, Mary and
her sister, Anne, were both Protestants, and except for
their little brother, who was at this time a tiny baby, Mary
was the next heir to the throne of Britain.
So when the British saw that James meant to rule as a tyrant
and that there was no hope of any freedom or
 happiness for
them as long as he was King, they sent messages to Holland
begging William to come to take the crown.
William consented to come, and began to gather his ships and
men. And one day a letter reached James telling him what the
Prince of Orange was doing. As James read, he turned pale
and the letter dropped from his hand. He had thought that he
might ill-treat the people as he liked. Now he discovered
his mistake and tried to undo the evil he had done. It was
too late. His people had forsaken him.
William was ready to sail, but for some days he was
prevented because of the wind which blew from the west. At
last it changed, and what was known for many years after as
the "Protestant East Wind" began to blow.
It blew the Prince and his great fleet to the shores of
Britain. More than six hundred ships swept over the water,
led by William in his vessel called the Brill. From the
mast-head floated his standard, with the arms of Nassau and
of Britain upon it, and in great shining letters the words,
"I will maintain the liberties of England, and the
Protestant religion." By night the dark sea glittered for
miles with lights. By day the white sails glimmered in the
Once before in our story a great conqueror called William
had sailed to these shores with mighty ships and men. This
was no conqueror, but a deliverer.
On the 5th of November 1688 A.D., William landed at Torbay,
in Devonshire. There the stone upon which he first placed
his foot is still to be seen. Although now it is a town,
then it was a little lonely village, and the Prince had to
sleep the first night in a tiny thatched cottage. But over
it, as proudly as over any castle, fluttered the great
banner with its promise, "I will
main-  tain the liberties of England and the Protestant religion."
Through rain and wintry weather, over roads knee-deep in
mud, the Prince and his army marched northward. Worn, wet,
and muddy as they were, the people crowded everywhere along
the way to cheer them. The Prince rode upon a beautiful
white horse, a white feather was in his hat, and armour
glittered upon his breast. His face was grave and stern, his
eyes keen and watchful. He looked a soldier and a King.
As he rode along an old woman pushed her way through the
crowd, and afraid neither of the prancing horses nor the
drawn swords of the soldiers, darted to the side of the
Prince. She seized his hand, and, looking up into his face
with eyes full of tears, cried, "I am happy now, I am happy
now." And the grave and stern William smiled gently as he
looked down upon her. The Deliverer had come.
The Deliverer had come.
James II., his Queen, and their little boy fled to France.
No one wanted James, no one regretted him. To go to France
was the best thing he could do, and the King there received
him kindly and treated him as an honoured guest.
At Westminster a Parliament was called, which arranged that
William and Mary should be King and Queen together. For
although Mary had the better right to the throne she did not
wish to reign without her husband, nor did he wish to accept
a lower rank than that of his wife.
So ended the "Glorious Revolution." It had been brought
about with hardly any fighting at all, and the war between
the King and Parliament was at an end, for William and Mary
received the throne by the will of Parliament.
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