The story is complicated and fascinating. Mary Queen of Scots’ son James inherits the throne from Elizabeth I. His son Charles I is beheaded in the English Civil War. His son Charles II is restored to the throne, but has no legitimate children. At his death, his brother James II takes the throne. James had converted to Catholicism along with his wife. Their daughter Mary is brought up as a Protestant and marries the Dutch Protestant William of Orange. Her mother dies and her father, now King James II (a Catholic) marries again. His new wife is sickly and everyone assumes that James II’s Protestant daughter Mary will ascend to the throne on his death. Then, completely unexpectedly Catholic King James’ wife bears him a son who will be brought up Catholic….

Donor Subscribers can go here to listen to this penultimate episode of my reading of and abridged version of Hilaire Belloc’s Characters of the Reformation. This episode will be posted next week at BreadBox media for those who wish to listen without being a Donor Subscriber. At BreadBox and through other podcast channels the whole series is available. You do have to listen to sponsorship messages. Here the podcasts are posted first and without advertising. When the series finishes the podcasts will be withdrawn from public access and archived here.

Go here to listen to episode 16 – William of Orange.

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