King William III Fact File: Lifespan: 1650 – 1702 *** Full Name: King William III was also known as William of Orange *** Date of Birth (Birthday): He was born on November 4, 1650 *** Place of Birth: King William III was born in the Hague in the Dutch Republic.*** Family background: His father was William II, Prince of Orange *** Education: King William III was educated by his governesses from an early age *** King William III died on March 8, 1702 ***
King William III Fact 1: King William III was born on November 4, 1650 in the Hague in the Dutch Republic.
King William III Fact 2: His father, William II, Prince of Orange, died of smallpox eight days before William was born, leaving him to inherit the principality of Orange, making him the sovereign Prince of Orange from birth.
King William III Fact 3: His mother was called Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange. Her father was King Charles I of England, Ireland and Scotland. Her brothers were King James II and King Charles II.
King William III Fact 4: William's father left a will stating that his wife should become their son's legal guardian. However, the will was not signed so when his father died, the court granted shared guardianship between his mother and paternal grandmother, Amalia of Solms-Braunfels.
King William III Fact 5: His mother, Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange, wanted to name him after her brother Charles. His grandmother, Amalia of Solms-Braunfels, had other ideas. She wanted to name him Willem (William).
King William III Fact 6: During his early years, he was educated by his governesses. When he was five years old, a preacher from Reformed Christianity (Calvinism), called Cornelis Trigland, began teaching King William III on a daily basis. He told him that he was predestined to become an instrument of Divine Providence.
King William III Fact 7: Although not an official student, he was taught at the University of Leiden for 7 years from 1659. A French scholar and author called Samuel Chappuzeua taught him French.
King William III Fact 8: His mother died from smallpox when he was ten years old. She had appointed her brother, in her will, King Charles II, to oversee William's interests. Charles wanted to improve the boy's education in preparation for his future. The states of Holland agreed to the demands of Charles when he asked them to stop interfering with William's education. The States of Holland officially made him a Child of State when he was 16 years old. He was instructed on state matters by a politician of the Republic called Johan de Witt.
King William III Fact 9: He was stadtholder, which means place holder, of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland, and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from 1672.
King William III Fact 10: He married his cousin Mary in 1677. Her father was James, Duke of York. King William III was a Protestant, his father-in-law, James, had converted to the Catholic religion and married an Italian Princess who was Catholic. His marriage to Mary became a concern to many Protestants who feared that a future son could become a Catholic king.
King William III Fact 11: He was a Protestant who became a hero in the eyes of many other Protestants. He faced many wars against Louis XIV, the King of France, who was a powerful man of the Catholic religion. In fact, one of his reasons for marrying his cousin Mary, was to form a strong Anglo-Dutch association against Louis XIV, the King of France.
King William III Fact 12: His father-in-law, James, became King James II in 1685 following the death of King Charles II. The Protestants fears of a Catholic succession were confirmed when the wife of King James II gave birth to a son in 1688.
King William III Fact 13: The birth of King James' son meant that William's wife, Mary, was no longer next in line to the throne. He was encouraged by religious leaders and political leaders who were Protestant opponents of King James II to invade England in an attempt to drive the King from his position.
King William III Fact 14: William of Orange began his invasion of England when his forces landed at Brixham port in Devon on November 5, 1688. As a result, King James II was removed from his position.
King William III Fact 15: Following the invasion, the Glorious Revolution occurred when William and his wife Mary were offered the throne as joint monarchs by the English Parliament. He became the King of England, Ireland and Scotland in 1689. In Scotland, he was recognized as King William II. Some people referred to him as King Billy. The couple moved to Hampton Court Palace in Surrey.
King William III Fact 16: James wanted to recover his throne and made plans to invade England with the help of King William III's Catholic enemy, Louis XIV, the King of France, who supplied French troops. James landed in Ireland in March 1689 to begin his invasion.
King William III Fact 17: James' attempted invasion of England was unsuccessful. He returned to France after being defeated by King William III who organized the largest invasion force ever witnessed by Ireland at the time. The battle between King William III and James became known as The Battle of the Boyne and it took place in July 1690.
King William III Fact 18: He spent much of his time away from the throne, leaving his wife to rule, whilst he participated in the Nine Years' War, also known as the Grand Alliance, against France. He formed the Bank of England in 1694 to finance the Grand Alliance against Louis XIV, the King of France. In 1697, the French King gave up most the territory he had won by conquest.
King William III Fact 19: His wife, Mary, died on December 28, 1694 from smallpox. He was stricken by grief and mourned deeply for her loss. He continued to rule alone until his own death in 1702.
King William III Fact 20: He fell from a horse in 1702 which resulted in a broken collarbone. He died from pneumonia on March 8, 1702 at the age of 51. He was buried alongside his wife in Westminster Abbey, London, England.
Influence & Legacy of King William III: He inherited the principality of Orange and became the sovereign Prince of Orange when he was born. He became the King of England, Ireland and Scotland when he took the throne from James II following his invasion of England. His wife was given joint reign by English Parliament; an event which became known as the 'Glorious Revolution.