Upper Ards District LOL 11

James, William and Mary

Charles II died in February 1685. He was followed by his brother, who became James VII of Scotland and James II of England. James was a Roman Catholic and this dismayed the Protestants. Many belonged to the more radical political party, the Whigs. They had had enough of Stuart kings who showed little regard for the peoples wishes.

In June 1685 the Protestant James Duke of Monmouth, a son of Charles II born outside marriage, landed in Lyme Regis, in southern England. He claimed the throne, but was defeated in July at Sedgemoor and executed. His followers were dealt with savagely by a judge called George Jeffreys, in a series of trials called the Bloody Assizes. A death sentence was passed on 320 people and 840 more were sold into slavery. It was a bitter start to the reign.

By 1688 leading politicians had decided on a drastic plan. They had invited the Dutch ruler, William of Orange, to become king. He was a Protestant married to Mary, the kings daughter. William landed at Torbay in Devon and gained rapid support. James fled to France and it was agreed that William III and Mary II would rule jointly. This change of power became known as the Glorious Revolution.

Both Mary II and William III ruled together, as joint monarchs with equal rights. It was the only time this had happened in English or Scottish history. This reign confirmed that the state would be Protestant rather than Roman Catholic, and brought to an end the long years of strife between the kings and parliament. After the death of Mary, from smallpox in 1694, William ruled the country on his own.

William and Mary did not enjoy an easy reign. The Highland Scots rose up in support of James. Their leader was John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, a persecutor of the Covenanters. They won the Battle of Killiecrankie in May 1689, but Dundee was killed and the rising failed. James now landed with French troops in Ireland, trying to regain the throne. William too led an army into Ireland, reinforced with Ulster Protestants. They met at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 and James was defeated.

The most important outcome of the Glorious Revolution was a Bill of Rights, passed in December 1689. This made it very clear that Parliament was now the chief governing body in the land, and that the power of kings and queens was strictly limited.

Union Flag

Queen Elizabeth I died of pneumonia at Richmond Palace in 1603. The throne now passed to James VI of Scotland the Protestant son of Mary, Queen of Scots and descendant of Margaret Tudor the sister of King Henry VIII. He was crowned James I of England, the thrones of Scotland and England were now united and a new flag was designed to represent both countries.
The first version of the Union Flag was flown from 1606 until 1801. It combined the English flag (a St George’s cross, red on a white field) with the Scottish flag of St Andrew (a saltire or diagonal cross, white on a blue field). After the defeat of the United Irish rebellion in 1798 a new Act of Union was passed and in January 1801 the Irish Parliament was abolished, Ireland was now part of the United Kingdom, and the Cross of St Patrick (a saltire or diagonal cross, red on a white field) was added to the Union Flag.

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Parades & Events

Tuesday 23rd June 2015, 7.00pm - LOL 781 Charity Concert - Donaghadee
Friday 26th June 2015, 7.00pm - Upper Ards District Mini 12th - Ballywalter
Wednesday 1st July, 7.30pm - Annual Somme Commemoration Service - Donaghadee
Sunday 5th July, 2.30pm - Annual Divine Service - Donaghadee
Monday 13th July 2015 - Annual Boyne Anniversary Celebrations - Holywood