chapter  12
15 Pages

James II, 1685–8

Given the fact that James was deposed after only three years on the throne, it is tempting to assume that his failure as King was, in some sense, inevitable. Yet, if one considers James’s position on his accession, it is hard to substantiate such a view. The Exclusion campaign had been defeated, and James had come to the throne as undis-puted successor to Charles II. He had the unqualified support of the Anglican Church; the Whigs had been crushed in Charles’s final years; and the Tories, supportive of the hereditary rights of the King, were in firm control of local government. The Crown had dispensed with Parliament for the last four years of Charles’s reign, in contravention of the Triennial Act, and had sufficient revenues to continue to govern without parliamentary aid if necessary.