King James II of England/ VII of Scotland Timeline 1633-1701

King James II

FatherKing Charles I (1600 – 1649)
MotherHenrietta Maria of France (1609 – 1669)
Spouse – m. 1660 – Anne Hyde (1637 – 1671), m. 1673 – Mary of Modena (1658 – 1718)
Children – by Anne Hyde – Charles (1660 – 1661), Mary (1662 – 1694), James (1663 – 1667), Anne (1665 – 1714), Charles (1666 – 1667), Edgar (1667 – 1671), Henrietta (1669), Catherine (1671)
by Mary of Modena – Catherine (1675), Isabella (1676 – 1681), Charles (1677), Elizabeth (1678), Charlotte (1682), James (1688 – 1766), Louisa (1692 – 1712)
King of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland 1685 – 1688
Predecessor – King Charles II – 1660 – 1685
Successor – William III – 1688 – 1702 and Mary II – 1688 – 1694


1633 (14th October)
King James II, was born to Charles I and Henrietta Maria at St James’s Palace, London. He was the couple’s  fourth child after Charles (born and died 1629), Charles (born 1630) and Mary (born 1631). As the monarch’s second son, he was designated Duke of York.
1633 (late)
James was baptised by William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury.
1635 (29th December)
James’s sister, Elizabeth, was born to Charles I and Henrietta Maria at St James’s Palace, London.
1637 (17th March)
James’s sister, Anne, was born to Charles I and Henrietta Maria at St James’s Palace, London.
1638 (around)
James began his education. He was privately tutored with his brother Charles and the sons of the Duke of Buckingham.
1639 (29th June)
James’s sister, Catherine, was born to Charles I and Henrietta Maria at St James’s Palace, London. She died later that day.
1640 (8th July)
James’s brother, Henry, was born to Charles and Henrietta Maria at St James’s Palace, London.
1642 (10th January)
James and his family moved from Whitehall to Hampton Court.
1642 (13th February)
James’s mother Henrietta Maria accompanied his sister, Mary to The Hague for her marriage to Prince William of Orange. While in the Netherlands Henrietta Maria raised funds to support the Royalist cause against Parliament’s increasing demands.
1642 (20th April)
James was created a Knight of the Garter.
1642 (22nd August)
Charles’s father raised his standard at Nottingham effectively declaring war against Parliament.
1643 (February)
James’s mother returned to England landing in Yorkshire.
1644 (27th January)
James was formally created Duke of York, having held the title since his birth.
1642 (22nd August)
James’s father raised his standard at Nottingham effectively declaring war against Parliament.
1642 (23rd October)
Battle of Edgehill
James and his elder brother Charles joined their father in this English Civil War battle against Parliament. James narrowly escaped capture by the Parliamentary army in this battle that ended in stalemate with neither side able to advance.
1642 (late October)
James was sent away from the front line of the war to Oxford, the Royalist capital city.
1644 (16th June)
James’s sister, Henrietta, was born to Charles I and Henrietta Maria at Bedford House, Exeter, England.
1644 (2nd July)
Battle of Marston Moor
This was the largest single battle of the Civil War involving 45,000 men. Although the Royalists led by Prince Rupert were outnumbered, they decided to fight. They were defeated by a Parliamentarian force led by the Earl of Leven. For the first time since the Civil War had begun Rupert’s cavalry were beaten by a Parliamentarian cavalry charge.
1645 (14th June)
Battle of Naseby
The Parliamentarians broke their siege on Oxford and forced the Royalists into battle. Initially the Royalists took up a defensive stance but later the order to attack was given. The battle lasted just three hours and saw the death of most of the Royalist foot soldiers. It was a decisive victory for Parliament. Charles fled the battlefield as soon as it was apparent that he had lost both the battle and the war.
1646 (3rd May)
The New Model Army lay siege to the Royalist capital of Oxford where James and his father King Charles were resident. Charles managed to escape dressed as a servant and fled to Scotland. James was taken to St James’s Palace where he was placed under house arrest.
1646 (5th May)
King Charles I surrendered to the Scots at Newark and they took him north to Newcastle.
1648 (during)
James escaped from St James’s Palace dressed as a woman and fled to The Hague and then to France where he served in the French army.
1649 (20th January)
King Charles I was tried for treason by a High Court of Justice specially set up for the trial. Many members of parliament secretly objected to the trial and stayed away.
1649 (26th January)
The court found Charles I guilty of using his power for personal interest rather than the good of the country and sentenced him to death.
1649 (30th January)
King Charles I was executed by beheading, in front of the Banqueting House at Whitehall Palace, London. He was buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
1649 (5th February)
The Scottish parliament proclaimed James’s brother, Charles, King Charles II of Scotland.
1649 (March)
Parliament declared England to be a republic.
1649 (March)
The Scottish parliament wanted Charles II to sign the Covenant and make Presbyterianism the religion of the British Isles but Charles refused. Instead he sent the Marquis of Montrose with a force to take control of Scotland.
1650 (27th April)
Battle of Carbisdale
This was a battle between the forces of the Marquis of Montrose and those of the Covenanter army. Montrose was defeated and executed.
1650 (23rd June)
The defeat and execution of Montrose left Charles with no choice but to agree to the Convenanter’s terms. He signed the Covenant as soon as he landed at Moray. Although this pacified the Scots it reduced Charles’s support in England.
1650 (22nd July)
Oliver Cromwell invaded Scotland.
1650 (3rd September)
Battle of Dunbar
The Scottish army was defeated by Oliver Cromwell’s forces and Cromwell took control of Edinburgh.
1650 (late)
Oliver Cromwell had taken control of much of southern Scotland.
1651 (1st January)
James’s brother, Charles was crowned King of Scotland at Scone.
1651 (July)
Charles II of Scotland managed to evade Cromwell’s forces and invaded England with the intent of capturing London. As soon as Cromwell realised Charles had gone south he left Scotland in pursuit.
1651 (3rd September)
Battle of Worcester
Cromwell met Charles II’s forces at Worcester. Cromwell secured victory. Charles managed to avoid being captured by hiding in an Oak tree.
1651 (Autumn)
James’s brother Charles continued to evade capture by Cromwell’s forces.
1651 (16th October)
James’s brother Charles managed to escape England and landed in Normandy. He then tried to find support to mount a campaign to take back control from Cromwell.
1652 (December)
James was given command of an Irish regiment that had been captured by the French.
1653 (16th December)
Oliver Cromwell, was appointed Lord Protector of England for life. The title gave him full control over government and the judiciary.
1654 (during)
Oliver Cromwell made alliances with France and Holland which meant that they would not support James’s brother. James was told to leave France and went to Bruges where he joined the Spanish army.
1656 (2nd April)
Treaty of Brussels
This was a treaty made between Philip IV of Spain and James’s brother Charles. In return for Spanish support to regain the throne of Britain, Charles agreed to raise a force to support Spain against France.
1658 (14th June)
Battle of the Dunes
James, along with large numbers of Royalists who had joined the Spanish army in support of Charles’s alliance with Spain took part in this battle which was fought against the English and French near Dunkirk, France. It was a decisive victory for the French and Charles lost nearly half of his army.
1658 (3rd September)
Oliver Cromwell died in the Palace of Whitehall from a fever. He was succeeded by his son, Richard Cromwell.
1659 (6th May)
Richard Cromwell was removed from power by the army who reinstalled the Rump Parliament (the parliament that had tried King Charles I for treason).
1660 (1st January)
General George Monck, Governor of Scotland, led an army to London where he persuaded parliament to hold elections.
1660 (25th April)
The newly elected parliament contained many members who supported a return to monarchy and Monck persuaded them to restore Charles II to the throne.
1660 (8th May)
James’s brother, Charles, was proclaimed King Charles II by parliament.
1660 (14th May)
James’s brother Charles was proclaimed King Charles II in Ireland.
1660 (25th May)
Charles landed at Dover.
1660 (29th May)
James’s brother, Charles, was formally restored to the throne of Great Britain.
1660 (Summer)
James was created Lord High Admiral and Warden of the Cinque Ports.
1660 (3rd September)
James, married a heavily pregnant Anne Hyde, daughter of Edward Hyde, Charles II’s chief minister.
1660 (13th September)
James’s brother, Henry, died of smallpox.
1660 (22nd October)
A son, Charles, was born to James and Anne Hyde at Worcester House, London. He was styled Duke of Cambridge.
1660 (3rd November)
James’s father-in-law, Edward Hyde, was created Baron Hyde.
1660 (24th December)
James’s sister, Mary, died of smallpox.
1660 (31st December)
James was created Duke of Albany in Scotland.
1661 (23rd April)
Charles was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey.
1661 (23rd April)
James’s father-in-law, Edward Hyde, was created Earl of Clarendon.
1661 (5th May)
James’s son, Charles, died at Whitehall Palace.
1662 (30th April)
A daughter, Mary, was born to James and Anne Hyde at St James’s Palace, London.
1662 (21st May)
Charles II married Catherine of Braganza who was a Catholic in a public Anglican ceremony.
1663 (11th July)
A son, James, was born to James and Anne Hyde at Worcester House, London.
1664 (during)
Charles gave James the American land between the Delaware and Connecticut rivers.
1664 (December)
The English attacked the Dutch fleet off West Africa but failed to secure a victory.
1665 (January)
In retaliation for the English attack on the Dutch fleet, the Dutch opened fire on English warships in the Dutch colonies.
1665 (6th February)
A daughter, Anne was born to James and Anne Hyde at St James’s Palace, London.
1665 (4th March)
Second Anglo-Dutch War
The English used the Dutch opening fire on English warships as an excuse to declare war on the Dutch. James, as Lord High Admiral took charge of the navy during the war.
1665 (June)
New Amsterdam was renamed New York after James, Duke of York.
1665 (July)
The Great Plague of London
A serious outbreak of Bubonic Plague reached London. Most rich people immediately left the city.
1665 (late July)
The Great Plague of London
Around 2000 people died from the plague during the last week of July.
1665 (September)
The Great Plague of London
Through September around 7000 people died from the plague each week.
1665 (late Autumn)
The Great Plague of London
Death figures for the disease began to fall.
1666 (late February)
The Great Plague of London
It was considered safe to return to London and Charles, Catherine and the court returned to the city.
1666 (4th July)
A son, Charles, was born to James and Anne Hyde at St James’s Palace.
1666 (2nd September)
Great Fire of London
A fire broke out at a bakers in Pudding Lane. It destroyed more than 13,000 houses and 87 churches including St Paul’s Cathedral. James was put in charge of the firefighting operation.
1666 (3rd December)
James’s son, James, was made a Knight of the Garter.
1667 (22nd May)
James’s son, Charles died at St James’s Palace.
1667 (June)
Second Anglo-Dutch War – Raid on the Medway
The Dutch made a surprise raid on English battleships that were anchored off Chatham. A number of British ships were lost and Charles II was forced to sue for peace.
1667 (20th June)
James’s son, James died at Richmond Palace.
1667 (late June)
Following the Dutch attack on the Medway, James took charge of re-fortifying the south coast.
1667 (Summer)
James’s father-in-law was charged with treason and fled to France.
1667 (14th September)
A son, Edgar, was born to James and Anne Hyde at St James’s Palace, London.
1668 (around)
James converted to Catholicism. His conversion was kept secret and James continued to attend the Anglican church. At Charles’s order his two daughters, Mary and Anne were raised as Protestants.
1669 (13th January)
A daughter, Henrietta, was born to James and Anne Hyde at St James’s Palace, London.
1669 (15th November)
James’s daughter, Henrietta, died at St James’s Palace.
1671 (9th February)
A daughter, Catherine, was born to James and Anne Hyde at St James’s Palace, London.
1671 (31st March)
James’s wife, Anne Hyde, died at St James’s Palace, London from breast cancer.
1671 (8th June)
James’s son, Edgar, died at Richmond Palace.
1671 (5th December)
James’s daughter, Catherine, died at St James’s Palace, London.
1672 (during)
Third Anglo Dutch War
Charles openly supported Louis XIV against the Dutch and declared war on the Dutch. Once again James took charge of the Navy.
1673 (29th March)
Test Act
This act stated that anyone in public office had to swear an oath of allegiance and could not be a Catholic.
1673 (during)
James resigned as Lord High Admiral rather than take the Test Act. This move made clear that he had converted to Catholicism.
1673 (20th September)
James married Italian Mary of Modena by proxy in a Roman Catholic ceremony.
1673 (21st November)
Mary of Modena arrived in England. An Anglican service was held to recognise the proxy marriage.
1674 (May)
Mary of Modena was delivered of a stillborn child.
1675 (10th January)
A daughter, Catherine Laura was born to James and Mary of Modena at St James’s Palace.
1675 (October)
Mary of Modena was delivered of a stillborn child.
1675 (3rd October)
James’s daughter, Catherine, died following a convulsion.
1676 (18th August)
A daughter Isabella, was born to James and Mary of Modena at St James’s Palace
1677 (during)
There was growing concern over the succession since Charles II had no legitimate children. Heir to the throne was Charles’s brother, James who had converted to Catholicism. In a bid to persuade people that the royal family were not Catholic, Charles insisted that James’s eldest daughter Mary be married to her cousin William III of Orange.
1677 (7th November)
A son, Charles, was born to James and Mary of Modena at St James’s Palace, London.
1677 (12th December)
James’s son, Charles, died from smallpox.
1678 (during)
A daughter, Elizabeth, was born to James and Mary of Modena. She died the same year.
1678 (during)
Test Act
The 1673 Test Act was extended and effectively barred Catholics from being members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.
1678 (September)
Popish Plot
Titus Oates claimed that there was a plot to assassinate Charles and replace him with his brother James who had converted to Catholicism. The rumour sparked a wave of anti-Catholic hysteria and supposed conspirators were executed.
1679 (during)
Habeas Corpus
This Act, which states that no one can be imprisoned without a trial, was passed by parliament.
1679 (March)
James was ordered by his brother to leave England and go to Brussels. It was felt James was better out of England until the furore regarding the Popish Plot had blown over.
1679 (15th May)
Exclusion Crisis
A group of MPs introduced an Exclusion Bill into parliament in a bid to exclude James from the succession. Some supporters of the bill felt that Charles’s eldest illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth, should succeed to the throne. Rather than allowing the bill to pass, Charles dissolved parliament.
1679 (Summer)
Exclusion Crisis
Parliament, when recalled, continued to be divided over the succession of James. Those that supported the Exclusion Bill were known as Petitioners (later to become the Whigs) while those that opposed the bill were called Abhorrers (later to become the Tories).
1680 (during)
James was appointed Lord High Commissioner of Scotland and went to Edinburgh where he lived at the Palace of Holyrood.
1681 (February)
Mary of Modena was delivered of a stillborn child.
1681 (March)
Parliament met at Oxford. Once again the question of succession and the Exclusion Bill was brought up. Charles learned of this and dissolved parliament.
1681 (4th March)
James’s daughter Isabella died at St James’s Palace.
1682 (16th August)
A daughter Charlotte Maria was born to James and Mary of Modena.
1682 (October)
James’s daughter Charlotte Maria died following a convulsion.
1683 (1st April)
Rye House Plot
This was a plot to assassinate King Charles and his brother James while they were at the races at Newmarket. However, a fire in Newmarket led to the cancellation of the races and the plot failed. The uncovering of the plot also led to a wave of sympathy for Charles and James.
1683 (April)
News of the failed Rye House Plot leaked and Charles’s illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth, was implicated as being one of the conspirators. He fled England and sought refuge in the court of William III of Orange.
1683 (28th July)
James’s daughter, Anne, married Prince George of Denmark.
1683 (October)
Mary of Modena was delivered of a stillborn child.
1684 (during)
James returned to England and became a member of the Privy Council.
1684 (May)
Mary of Modena was delivered of a stillborn child.
1685 (2nd February)
Charles II suffered a seizure.
1685 (6th February)
James’s brother, Charles died. James succeeded him as King James II of England, Ireland and Wales and James VII of Scotland.
1685 (23rd April)
James II and Mary of Modena were crowned King and Queen at Westminster Abbey.
1685 (May)
The Monmouth Rebellion
This rebellion was planned by James Scott, Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of Charles II, and linked with Argyll’s Rising led by Archibald Campbell, Earl of Argyll. The two men planned a rebellion against James II and his replacement by Monmouth.
1685 (2nd May)
Argyll’s Rising
The Earl of Argyll sailed from Holland bound for Scotland with a force of 300 men. He intended to incite a rebellion against the rule of James II and have him replaced by Charles II’s illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth.
1685 (June)
Argyll’s Rising
The Earl of Argyll was disappointed to find little support for his rebellion in Scotland. An invasion of Lowland Scotland had had to be aborted and many of his followers deserted.
1685 (11th June)
The Monmouth Rebellion
The Duke of Monmouth landed at Lyme Regis and began recruiting followers.
1685 (18th June)
Argyll’s Rising
The Earl of Argyll was captured by forces loyal to the King.
1685 (30th June)
Argyll’s Rising
The Earl of Argyll was executed for treason.
1685 (6th July)
The Monmouth Rebellion – Battle of Sedgemoor
The Duke of Monmouth’s forces were defeated by royalist forces led by the Earl of Feversham and John Churchill.
1685 (15th July)
The Monmouth Rebellion
The Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of Charles II, was executed for treason.
1685 (26th August)
Bloody Assizes
The Bloody Assizes were a series of trials through August and September where those who had taken part in the Monmouth Rebellion were tried by Judge Jeffreys. Around 1500 people were tried, 300 were executed and around 850 were transported to the West Indies.
1685 (late)
James decided to enlarge his standing army to give himself increased protection. He alarmed Parliament by allowing Catholics to command regiments blatantly flouting the Test Act and Parliament protested to the King. In response James prorogued Parliament.
1686 (during)
James appointed Catholics to many of the highest roles in the Scotland and England, a move that upset many of his Anglican supporters.
1686 (March)
James requested that the Scottish council allow toleration for Catholics but not for rebellious Presbyterian Covenanters.
1686 (May)
James sought a legal ruling to legitimise his dispensing with Acts of Parliament.
1687 (12th February)
Declaration of Indulgence
This allowed religious freedom in Scotland and dispensed with the requirement for oaths as prescribed by the Test Act.
1687 (4th April)
Declaration for Liberty of Conscience
This allowed religious freedom in England and dispensed with the requirement for oaths as prescribed by the Test Act.
1687 (Autumn)
Determined to gain a repeal of the Test Act, James decided to place his supporters in positions of power and in parliament. Where those in office opposed him he removed them and appointed favourable replacements.
1688 (April)
James upset and alienated Anglican leaders after insisting that his Declaration be read out in every church. Those that protested were arrested.
1688 (10th June)
A son, James Francis Edward, was born to King James II and Mary of Modena at St James’s Palace, London.
1688 (mid June)
The birth of James’s son secured the succession but also meant that there was a very strong likelihood that Catholicism would return to Britain.
1688 (30th June)
Glorious Revolution
Seven Protestant nobles, Earl of Shrewsbury, Earl of Devonshire, Earl of Danby, Viscount Lumley, Bishop of London, Edward Russell and Henry Sydney, wrote to William III, husband of James II’s daughter Mary and asked him to join them in making Mary heir to the throne in place of the newborn prince. William was told that if he landed in England with a small army he would find that he had much support.
1688 (24th August)
Feeling that he now had sufficient support, James II issued a writ to call a new election.
1688 (September)
James learned that William of Orange was going to invade England and immediately withdrew the call for a new election. He was offered support from Louis XIV but turned it down.
1688 (5th November)
Glorious Revolution
William of Orange landed at Brixham in Devon. After the army and navy defected to William, James decided not to march to meet him.
1688 (9th December)
James’s wife, Mary of Modena, escaped London in disguise with baby James Francis Edward and fled to France.
1688 (11th December)
James II threw the Great Seal into the River Thames before making for the coast where he hoped to take a boat to France. He was captured in Kent.
1688 (12th December)
Laurence Hyde, Earl of Rochester, summoned a provisional government.
1688 (23rd December)
William of Orange allowed James to escape to France. He went to the court of Louis XIV where he was given a palace and a pension.
1689 (22nd January)
Parliament met to discuss the constitutional situation. Most Tories wanted either James II restored or James’s daughter, William’s wife to be crowned Queen. While most Whigs wanted a limited Protestant monarchy.
1689 (6th February)
Parliament agreed that since James had fled abroad he was deemed to have abdicated. Both of James’s daughters refused to rule over William so it was agreed that William and Mary should jointly take the throne as William III and Mary II.
1689 (March)
James II landed in Ireland at the head of a French force determined to regain the crown. The Irish government declared that James remained King. James’s supporters were known as Jacobites.
1689 (16th December)
Bill of Rights
The English parliament drew up this bill which stated basic civil rights and settled the succession. It also stated that no Roman Catholic could take the throne nor could an English monarch marry a Roman Catholic.
1690 (1st July)
Battle of the Boyne
The forces of William III secured a decisive victory over those of James II. James managed to escape the battlefield and fled to France.
1690 (late Summer)
In France, James took up residence in the chateau of Saint-Germain-en-Laye with his wife and some of his loyal supporters.
1692 (28th June)
A daughter Louisa Maria Theresa was born to James and Mary of Modena in France.
1694 (28th December)
James II’s daughter, Mary II, died. Her husband succeeded as sole monarch of Britain.
1696 (February)
Jacobite George Barclay hatched a plot to ambush and assassinate William III. The plot was discovered and a number of Jacobites were arrested.
1696 (Summer)
James rejected an offer by Louis XIV to be made King of Poland because he felt it would diminish his chances of regaining the English throne.
1697 (5th November)
William III agreed a peace with Louis XIV which meant that the French King could no longer offer support to James.
1701 (March)
James, suffered a stroke that left him partially paralysed.
1701 (16th September)
James died of a brain haemorrhage at Saint-Germain-en-Laye.


Published Sept 26, 2018 @ 3:00 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page::

Heather Y Wheeler. (2018 – 2020). King James II of England, Wales, Ireland, VII of Scotland. Last accessed [date]

Leave a comment