William and Mary proclaimed joint sovereigns
The 13th of February 1689 AD
James II having fled the country at the end of 1688 left the country in a strange situation with no monarch to call a Parliament in order to resolve it. William of Orange , whose invasion (or requested arrival depending on your viewpoint) had precipitated the crisis cut through protocol by summoning a Convention Parliament on January 22 1689. Rather than simply proclaim William king, however, this forum discussed at length the way ahead, Stuart absolutism and drift to Catholicism at the forefront of its discussions. Complicating matters was the fact that James’ daughter Mary rather than the powerful William was next in line to succeed James II, deemed by his flight to have abdicated.
Finally on February 13 1689, at the Banqueting Hall in Whitehall , Parliament’s proposed solution was put to William, and agreed by him for both Mary and himself. They would serve as joint sovereigns, and rule according to a Declaration of Rights which set out certain sacrosanct rights of British subjects and of Parliament, including provisions preventing any Catholic from reigning in future.
Parliament in 1689 then had remade the monarchy and outlined the constitutional framework within which monarch and Parliament operated, along with certain basic civil rights. The short-term difficulties had been dealt with, but more significantly both legally and symbolically longer term the balance of power had been tipped Parliament’s way.
More famous dates here
5359 views since 13th February 2009
On this day: