Who was William of Orange and what role did he play in British history?


  • 4TH NOVEMBER: William of Orange is born in Binnenhof, the Hague. he was the only child of stadtholder William II, Prince of Orange, and Mary, Stuart. princess royal.
  • 13TH AUGUST: The Hoge Raad Van Holland En Zeeland (supreme court) ruled that guardianship would be shared between his mother and his paternal grandmother, Amalia of Solms-Braunfels and Frederick William
  • APRIL:  William received daily instruction in the reformed religion from the Calvinist preacher Cornelis Trigland
  • William spent seven years at the University of Leiden
  • SEPTEMBER: Mary, William’s mother returns to England
  • 29TH MAY: William’s uncle Charles is king of England
  • 24TH DECEMBER: William’s mother, Mary, princess royal and princess of Orange, died of smallpox. in her will, she appointed her brother, King Charles ii, to oversee William's interests
  • 23RD APRIL The coronation of Charles  II of England after the restoration
  • NOVEMBER: When William was sixteen, the states officially made him a ward of the government, or a "child of state"
  • 19TH SEPTEMBER: The states of Zeeland appointed William as first noble
  • 10TH SEPTEMBER: William’s grandmother, Henrietta of France died
  • 31ST MAY: William was introduced to the council
  • MAY: William makes his first visit to England
  • JANUARY: William writes a private letter to his uncle King Charles II of England. he asked Charles to put pressure on the state for him to be stadholder, in return he would ally the republic with England and serve Charles' interests as much as his "honour and the loyalty due to this state. Charles did not respond to this.
  • 7TH APRIL: The Franco-Dutch war begin
  • 4TH JULY: William is now stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel
  • 26TH APRIL: William is titled his highness the prince of Orange, stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel
  • William was attacked by smallpox. William Bentinck, 1st earl of Portland. the earl was a favorite of William’s.
  • 8TH SEPTEMBER: Williams grandmother from his fathers side Amalia of Solms-Braunfels died
  • William is installed as governor of Overijssel.
  • William Bentinck, 1st earl of Portland was sent to England to negotiate the marriage of William to princess Mary Stuart.
  • 11TH APRIL: Battle Of Cassel: This between William Forces and the forces of France
  • Williams visits England for a second time.
  • 4TH NOVEMBER: Mary Stuart and William were married at St James's palace by Bishop Henry Compton. William was twenty-seven and Mary was fifteen years of age.
  • Mary, Williams wife became pregnant soon after the marriage, but miscarried. Mary then contracted an illness, which prevented her from having more children.
  • The end of the Franco-Dutch war
  • The political party the Whigs and the Tories are founded
  • 6TH FEBRUARY: Charles II of England is dead and James Mary’s father is king of Great Britain.
  • 23RD APRIL: The coronation of James as king of Great Britain
  • 30TH JUNE: A group called the immortal seven", sent William a formal  
  • 27TH SEPTEMBER: The start of the nine years of war.
  • 5TH NOVEMBER: William of Orange arrives in England at the port of Brixham in Devon.
  • 15TH NOVEMBER : The glorious revolution begins: William of Orange lands at Torbay.
  • 19TH NOVEMBER : William of Orange captures Exeter, after the magistrates flee the city.
  • 19TH DECEMBER: William made a triumphant march into London as James II flees
  • 13TH:FEBRUARY William III and Mary II are proclaimed co-rulers of England, Scotland and Ireland. There is a ceremony at the Guildhall in the City of London, but are not yet recognized in Scotland or Ireland.
  • 12TH MARCH: The start of the Williamite war in Ireland.
  • 11TH APRIL: The coronation of Mary and her husband William of Orange as king and queen of Great Britain.
  • APRIL: The Williamite war in Ireland: Siege of Derry
  • 11TH  MAY:The Williamite war in Ireland – Battle of Bantry Bay:
  • 24TH MAY: The Toleration Act 1689; was an act of the parliament of England, the act allowed freedom of worship to Nonconformists who had pledged to the oaths of allegiance and supremacy and rejected transubstantiation
  • The Abnaki war (Abenaki) of in North America is better known as King William's war. It was the first of the intercolonial wars between France and England in North America, pitting the English and their Iroquois allies against the French and their Abnaki allies until 1697.
  • 25 MAY –The last collection of hearth tax; it is replaced by a poll tax.
  • Supporters of William seize Liverpool Castle
  • 27TH JULY: In Killiecrankie, Scotland: between the forces of the deposed king James II and William.
       Result Jacobite Victory
  • 1ST AUGUST – Archbishop of Canterbury William Sancroft, along with eight bishops and around 400 other clergymen, is suspended for refusing to swear allegiance to William and Mary. He is dismissed from office the following year
  • 16TH DECEMBER The Bill of Rights is passed in parliament
  • 14TH JUNE William, lands in Carrick-fergus in ulster Ireland, to confront James II.
  • 30TH JUNE: The day before the battle, William himself had a narrow escape when he was wounded in the shoulder by Jacobite artillery
  • 1ST JULY: : The battle was in Oldbridge, County Meath, Ireland. this was a war between forces of William of Orange and the forces of the deposed Jamess  II of England.
      Result: Williamite Victory
  • 17TH JULY: The declaration of Finglas, was issued by William.
  • 10TH DECEMBER – The playwright Henry Nevil Payne is tortured for his role in the Montgomery Plot to restore James II to the throne, the last time a political prisoner is subjected to torture in Britain.
  • 9TH APRIL – A fire at the Palace of Whitehall in London destroys its Stone Gallery.
  • MAY: William paid a visit to Robert Spencer, 2nd earl of Sunderland at his home in Althorp, Northampton-shire, to discuss public affairs
  • 12TH JULY Battle of Aughrim, Ireland. The old bridge, County Meath. it was fought between the Jacobines and the forces of William. this was the last time two crowned kings of England, Scotland and Ireland faced each other on the battlefield.
 Result Williamites Won Crushing Victory And Secured The Protestant Ascendancy In Ireland For Generations.
  • OCTOBER: The deposed James II fled to France.
  • 3RD OCTOBER: The Treaty of Limerick is signed and the end of the Williamite war
  • 19TH FEBRUARY – Princess Anne leaves the court after quarrelling with her sister, Queen Mary
  • 8TH FEBRUARY: William and Mary, a charter was granted and the college or in their name founded in Williamsburg, Virginia, United State
  • 13TH FEBRUARY: The Massacre of Glencoe: almost 80 MacDonald’s at Glen Coe, Scotland are killed early in the morning for not promptly pledging allegiance to the new king, William of Orange
  • 29TH JULY: The Battle Of Landen; Location Neerwinden, present-day Belgium: between the forces of King William of Great Britain and the forces of France
      Result: French Victory
  • 5TH SEPTEMBER – The Great Fire of Warwick.
  • OCTOBER 25TH Queen Mary, William’s wife founded the royal hospital for seamen at Greenwich
  • 28TH DECEMBER: Queen Mary, William’s wife died of smallpox at Kensington Palace, London. Anne Mary’s sister is called back to court, now that she is next in line to succession to the crown.
  • 13TH JANUARY – Princess Anne returns to court to act as royal hostess
  • 5TH OF MARCH, Mary the II of Great Britain, was buried in Westminster Abbey, London
  • William dissolved parliament
  • 3RD MAY – Parliament passes the Corrupt Practices Act to tackle bribery in general elections
  • William visited Warwick Castle, in Warwickshire
  • 2ND JULY- 1ST SEPTEMBER The Siege Of Namur: The allied forces of the grand alliance retook the city from the French, who had captured it in the first siege in 1692.
         Result: William Captures Namur
  • 1ST SEPTEMBER – Nine Years' War: France surrenders Namur in the Spanish Netherlands to forces of the Grand Alliance led by King William III of England following the 2-month Siege of Namur
  • Arnold Van Keppel, 1st earl of Albemarle becomes Williams’s groom of the bedchamber and master of the robes. Arnold was alleged to have been William’s lover.
  • 31ST DECEMBER –The window tax is imposed.
  • JANUARY Great Recoinage of 1696: The Parliament of England passes the Recoinage Act.
  • FEBRUARY: The Jacobite assassination plot, an unsuccessful attempt led by George Barclay to ambush and kill William
  • 7TH MARCH: William, departs from the Netherlands.
  • AUGUST 13TH: The Dutch territory of Drenthe made William its stadtholder
  • 20TH SEPTEMBER: The Treaty of Ryswick is signed by France and the grand alliance, to end both the nine years' war and King William's war.
  • 4TH JANUARY The Palace of Whitehall is destroyed by fire
  • 11TH: OCTOBER The Treaty of Den Haag was signed between England and France. The accord attempted to resolve who would inherit the Spanish throne, proposing that Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria be the heir
  • 25TH MARCH : The Treaty of London, is signed between France, England and Holland
  • 29TH JULY Princess Anne's only surviving child, Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, dies aged eleven leaving the Protestant succession to the Crown in doubt
  • 25TH DECEMBER First Christmas hymn authorized to be sung in the Anglican church, "While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks", the words by Nahum Tate having been first published this year, in a supplement to "Tate and Brady".
  • The Act of Settlement: This was an act of the parliament of England that the succession to the English and Irish crowns on protestants only. The crown of Great Britain passes to Sophia, Electress of Hanover and her descendants on the death of Princess Anne, the heiress presumptive to the throne after her brother in law, King William III
  • 16TH SEPTEMBER : The deposed King James II of England (James VII of Scotland) dies in exile, at the Château De Saint-Germain-En-Laye in France.
  • Prince James Francis Edward Stuart becomes the new claimant to the thrones of England as King James III and Scotland as King James VIII. Louis XIV of France, the Papal States and Spain recognize him as the rightful heir.
  • William fell from a horse which resulted in a broken collarbone.
  • 8TH MARCH: King William III died, at the age of fifty-one in of pneumonia, in Kensington Palace, London.
William of Orange was buried on the 12th April 1702 in Westminster Abbey, London


  • William of Orange was joint monarch of Great Britain with his wife Mary Stuart for thirteen years.


  • William was from the House of Stuart through his mother’s side. He was from the House of Orange Nassau through his father’s side. The house of Orange was founded in 1554. When William died, he had no heirs. This brought an end to his line.


  • Mary Stuart and William were first cousins, as well as husband and wife. Their parents were full siblings and both children of Charles the 1st of England. The marriage of William and Mary had been encouraged by Charles II, Mary’s uncle and James’s brother. By encouraging James’s Protestant daughter Mary to marry William of Orange, it raised the prospect of a Protestant heir to the throne.


  • William, was originally the third in the line of succession for the English crown, until King James of II of England son was born in 1688.


  • Eight days before William was born, his father died of smallpox, making William was the Sovereign Prince of Orange from the moment of his birth. When he was born, there was conflicts between Mary who was William’s mother and his grandmother Amalia of Solms-Braunfels. Mary wanted to call him Charles, after her late brother and his grandmother wanted to call him William, after his father William. William's father left a will stating that his wife should become their son's legal guardian. However, the will was not signed so when his father died, the court granted shared guardianship between his mother and paternal grandmother, Amalia of Solms-Braunfels.


  • William, could be very impatient with people. He had been brought up to believe that he was an instrument of God. William was also devout protestant.


  • William became a hero to his people in 1673 when he drove the invading Catholic forces of Louis XIV of France out of most of the Dutch Republic. ‘Timewatch, Vision of a Conqueror’ describes the aftermath of William’s victory and the start of his lifelong rivalry with Louis.


  • Before William and his wife Mary, were recognized as monarchs, they needed to sign some important rules first. No raising of money unless parliament approves. No royal power to lay down the law. They also could not make war without parliaments consent.


  • The famous Battle of the Boyne was fought in Ireland between William of Orange and James II. It was the last time two crowned kings of England, Scotland and Ireland faced each other on the battlefield. William of Orange won a crushing victory, which secured the Protestant ascendancy in Ireland for generations. It is celebrated by the Orange Order every 12 July.


  • In Scotland and Ireland, William was formally known as “King Billy”.


  • The Nine Years of War, was a conflict between Louis XIV of France and a European coalition of Austria and the Holy Roman Empire, the Dutch Republic, Spain, England and Savoy. These wars lasted from 1688-97. Louis XIV was a devout catholic.


  • James II of England, was a devout catholic, he was very unpopular. James was married to a catholic, their heirs would be catholic. James wanted to bring back Catholicism back to England. In 1688, William received a letter, signed by seven men, who were to be known as the immortal seven. This invitation was to come and invade England and seize the English throne.


  • In 1690. The deposed James II, had a failed attempt to seize his throne back. The Battle of the Boyne brought a great victory for William. James Fled after the battle back to France. The Battle marked a turning point in Protestant history in the country.  On July the 12th of each year, the Battle of the Boyne is commemorated by Orange Men walking through the streets of Northern Ireland.


  • Prior to Queen Mary’s death, William spent allot of time in the continent which left Mary in control of much important decisions while he was away. William spent many years in Europe fighting against his enemy, Louis XIV of France. A battle that he felt determined to win for a very long time. When Mary Died, William ruled alone and never re-married,


  • After William’s death, when courtiers undressed the king they found he was wearing Mary’s wedding ring and a lock of her hair close to his heart. William had no heir and his death brought an end to the House of Orange.






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