|Press "BACK" on your
browser to return to
the previous page.
|William III of England
William III of England (The Hague, 14 November
1650 – Kensington Palace, 8 March 1702; also
known as William II of Scotland and William III of
Orange) was a Dutch aristocrat and a Protestant
Prince of Orange from his birth, Stadtholder of the
main provinces of the Dutch Republic from 28 June
1672, King of England and King of Ireland from 13
February 1689, and King of Scotland from 11 April
1689, in each case until his death.
William III of Orange
William's primary achievement was to hem in France when it was in a position to impose its will
across much of Europe. His life was largely opposed to the will of the French King Louis XIV.
This effort continued after his death during the War of the Spanish Succession.
Another important consequence of William's reign in England involved the ending of a bitter
conflict between Crown and Parliament that had lasted since the accession of the first English
monarch of the House of Stuart, James I, in 1603. The conflict over royal and parliamentary
power had led to the English Civil War during the 1640s and the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
During William's reign, however, the conflict was settled in Parliament's favour by the Bill of
Rights 1689, the Triennial Act 1694 and the Act of Settlement 1701.
William endowed the College of William and Mary (in present day Williamsburg, Virginia) in 1693.
Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, is named after him. Similarly Nassau County, New York the
western most county on Long Island, is a namesake. Long Island itself was also known as
Nassau during early Dutch rule.
The modern day Orange Institution is named after William III, and makes a point of celebrating
his victory at the Boyne. Orange marches in Ulster, England, Wales, United States, New
Zealand, Canada, Ghana, Togo, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Continental Europe on "the
Twelfth" of July (the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne) often carry a picture of him with
them. Hence "orange" is often thought of as a "Protestant" colour in Ireland. The flag of the
Republic of Ireland includes the colour orange, as well as white and green, and signifies the
aspiration to peace between Protestants and Roman Catholics in Ireland.
New York was briefly renamed New Orange for him. His name was applied to the fort and
administrative center for the city on two separate occasions reflecting his different sovereign
status -- first as Fort Willem Hendrick in 1673 when the Dutch renamed New York to New
Orange and then as Fort William in 1691 when the English evicted Colonists who had seized
the fort and city.. Orange, Connecticut and The Oranges in northern New Jersey, are named
Russian Tsar Peter the Great greatly admired William, and his Great Embassy visited the
England of his time. There the two met a few times and Peter's portrait was painted by
William's court artist, Sir Godfrey Kneller.
The Style and arms The joint style of William III and Mary II was "William and Mary, by the
Grace of God, King and Queen of England, France and Ireland, Defenders of the Faith, etc."
when they ascended the Throne. (The claim to France was only nominal, and had been
asserted by every English King since Edward III, regardless of the amount of French territory
actually controlled, see English claims to the French throne) From 11 April 1689—when the
Estates of Scotland recognised them as Sovereigns—the style "William and Mary, by the Grace
of God, King and Queen of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defenders of the Faith, etc."
was used. After Mary's death, William continued to use the same style, omitting the reference
to Mary, mutatis mutandis'.
The arms used by the King and Queen were: Quarterly, I and IV Grandquarterly, Azure three
fleurs-de-lis Or (for France) and Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or (for England); II
Or a lion rampant within a tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (for Scotland); III Azure a harp Or
stringed Argent (for Ireland); overall an escutcheon Azure billetty and a lion rampant Or.
Reign 12 February 1689 - 8 March 1702
(with Mary II until 28 December 1694)
Born 14 November 1650
Died March 8, 1702 (aged 51)
Buried Westminster Abbey
Predecessor James II
Consort Mary II (joint monarch)
Royal House Orange
Father William II, Prince of Orange
Mother Mary Henrietta Stuart