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James II: The Last Catholic King by David…
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James II: The Last Catholic King

by David Womersley

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The short, action-packed reign of James II (1685-88) is generally seen as one of the most catastrophic in British history. James managed, despite having access to tremendous reserves of good will and deference, to so alienate his supporters that he had to flee for his life. And yet, most of that life was spent not as king but first as heir to Charles II, as Duke of York (after whom New York is named) and then in the last part of his life as the first Jacobite 'Pretender', starting a problem that would haunt Britain's rulers for generations.… (more)

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In a petulant gesture, so expressive of his lack of understanding of political realities, James threw the Great Seal into the river as he fled, hoping thereby to immobilize public business.
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