December11th: end of a short unhappy reign today in 1688


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    On the 11th December 1688 King James II of England fled London, relinquishing his crown to his daughter Mary and her Dutch husband, William of Orange. He had been King for three years, but his wedding to a Catholic and later open Catholicism had angered and worried his subjects.
    As a younger Duke of York he had been a brave and able man.  He had fought four campaigns with Louis’ great General Turenne.  Later, under his brother, Charles II, he fought well at the Battle of the Dunes. He was promoted to Lord High Admiral and it was his plan that captured New Amsterdam(renamed New York) from the Dutch.
    It was the death of his Protestant brother in 1685 that put him on the throne he would find hard to hold. His arrogance, like his father’s before him, would cost him his people’s love and trust. His lack of common sense and haughty belief, like his father’s, that his right to rule was divine and not to be questioned, meant he placed Catholics in high positions, contrary to past and present laws.
    Worse was to come in 1687 as his staunchly Catholic Italian wife fell pregnant. England could just abide one Catholic monarch(Mary Tudor); the thought of a string of them was to much to bear. When in May of 1688 he introduced the Declaration of Indulgence, which allowed free worship for Catholics, some of his subjects wrote to William of Orange asking him to invade and take the throne. William was happy for the invitation and landed in November. The King’s soldiers started to defect and James realised he could not hold his country any longer.
    He would not return, dying in 1701 in France.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @wittmann:

    His arrogance, like his father’s before him, would cost him his people’s love and trust. His lack of common sense and haughty belief, like his father’s, that his right to rule was divine and not to be questioned

    A good description of a problem which, alas, applied to a number of English monarchs – Richard II being one example who comes to mind.  The replacement of James II by William of Orange came to be called the “Glorious Revolution” for reasons that I’ve never really understood, though it certainly sounds like a catchy marketing slogan.  William and Mary must have had a competent P.R. man on their staff.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    Thanks for bringing this up, Wittmann.

    @CWO:

    The replacement of James II by William of Orange came to be called the “Glorious Revolution” for reasons that I’ve never really understood, though it certainly sounds like a catchy marketing slogan.  William and Mary must have had a competent P.R. man on their staff.

    Calling it the “Dutch Invasion” might have antagonized a few people.  😄

    When I’m in the right company and feel like having a heated argument, I like to claim that England has been a Dutch colony ever since 1688.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Herr:

    Calling it the “Dutch Invasion” might have antagonized a few people. When I’m in the right company and feel like having a heated argument, I like to claim that England has been a Dutch colony ever since 1688.

    It’s been claimed that one of the best ways to start a brawl in a British pub is to wait for a group of Dutch tourists to walk in and then to ask the assembled patrons in a loud, challenging voice, “Who invented gin?”


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Herr:

    I like to claim that England has been a Dutch colony ever since 1688.

    This would make an interesting Global 1940 house rule: giving all of the UK’s IPC points to the Dutch East Indies.  The DEI would instantly become a first-rate power, and could pre-emptively conquer Japan before Japan invades the DEI.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    LOL…. thanks for the interesting suggestions.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    @CWO:

    @Herr:

    Calling it the “Dutch Invasion” might have antagonized a few people. When I’m in the right company and feel like having a heated argument, I like to claim that England has been a Dutch colony ever since 1688.

    It’s been claimed that one of the best ways to start a brawl in a British pub is to wait for a group of Dutch tourists to walk in and then to ask the assembled patrons in a loud, challenging voice, “Who invented gin?”

    And I thought you two were nice!
    I hate gin, by the way. That and brandy are just about the only things I cannot drink.
    Please tell me though, who invented that vile beverage? I thought it must have been a distant relative of  my wife’s family. You would think it to see them all knock it back!


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @wittmann:

    Please tell me though, who invented that vile beverage? I thought it must have been a distant relative of  my wife’s family.

    I have no expertise in the matter (and I hate gin too), but I think that the answer is: both.  The Dutch initially invented “Holland gin” (which arguably wins on the basis that it came first), but the British later invented “London gin” (which arguably wins because it became the predominantly consumed form of gin).  Which is why “who invented gin?” is such a loaded question.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Thank you.
    I think the winner has to be the Dutch, because they do not drink it like the daft English!
    I think they only drink it to remind themselves of India and the Empire and Great Britain.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @wittmann:

    I think the winner has to be the Dutch, because they do not drink it like the daft English! I think they only drink it to remind themselves of India and the Empire and Great Britain.

    Gin does indeed have a number of Rule Britannia thematic associations.  Gin and tonic supposedly originated in the fact that tonic water contains quinine, which is an anti-malarial compound and hence was useful to the British army officers who were posted in the tropical parts of the Empire.  (It’s not clear to me just how much tonic water you’d have to drink to produce a significant anti-malarial effect, but perhaps I’m just too much of a sceptic.)  And “pink gin” (gin and angostura bitters) became popular with Royal Navy officers (you can watch Jack Hawkins order one in The Cruel Sea) because angostura bitters supposedly have anti-seasickness properties.  So it sounds to me as if gin consumption was rationalized on the basis that it was: a) medicinal and b) helpful in keeping the Empire strong.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    “Holland Gin” is what we call “jenever”. The question of who invented gin, translates to the question whether jenever is actually gin, or a precursor to gin. Which is probably a matter of etymology, as jenever and gin both derive their name from the juniper berry, which was added to the earlier ‘malt wine’ in an attempt to make it somewhat palatable. Nor a very successful attempt imho, but that’s a matter of taste.

    If the Dutch would be the winners, it’s definitely not because they don’t drink it… it’s always enjoyed a certain popularity here, though nowadays mainly with elderly people. I happen to live in the jenever capital of the world, the city of Schiedam. A century ago, everything here revolved around the production of jenever. Appalling living conditions, black smoke from the distilleries, cheap alcohol readily available… well, you get the picture.

    Similar to the English, the Dutch readily employed their jenever in their own colonial efforts. In West Africa, where the Dutch maintained a presence until the 1870’s, Schiedam jenever is still quite popular and is used in rituals to get in touch with the ancestors. I suppose that would work, provided you drink a lot of it.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Thanks for the expert background information on this topic, Herr KaLeun.


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