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Mary II

Mary II, 1662–94, queen of England, wife of William III. The daughter of James II by his first wife, Anne Hyde, she was brought up a Protestant despite her father's adoption of Roman Catholicism. In 1677 she married her cousin William of Orange and went with him to Holland. She returned to England after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and was proclaimed joint sovereign with her husband in 1689, though she actually ruled only during his absences. Although she was relatively popular with the Dutch and English peoples, she led an unhappy life because of the political conflicts between her husband, her father, and her sister Anne. She sided faithfully with her husband.

See biographies by H. W. Chapman (1953, repr. 1972) and E. Hamilton (1972); R. P. MacCubbin and M. Hamilton-Phillips, ed., The Age of William III and Mary II (1988).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish History: Biographies


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