King William III
Who was he: William III of the House of Orange-Nassau gained control of England and Ireland as well as the Netherlands with his wife Mary II, also his first cousin, from 1689 until her death in 1694 at age 32. Scotland was successful in resisting his royal position for a short period. William III claimed that James II had abdicated the throne by attempting to flee. William III invaded England, claiming James II to be immoral. William III continued to rule after Mary died until his death in 1702.
William III's disdain for the aggression of Louis XIV is well documented, claiming Orange to be an independent state. Formerly a part of the Holy Roman Empire, it had been given to Charlemagne's cousin William of Gellone in return for assisting the Roman Army in battle. William III continued to defend the community, as it was his initial claim to power.
William III's reign as King of England was short, but his legacy continues today through his establishment of the national Bank of England which has established the framework for the current international central banking structure.
Background: William III was the product of a marriage between William II, the Stadholder-King of the Netherlands, and Mary Stuart, Princess Royal of England, who was the daughter of King Charles I. William III held royal status on both sides of his family over two separate countries and is historically known as a Calvinist Catholic-fighter, having battled with armies of Louis XIV of France and his uncle and father-in-law, James II.
William's father died shortly before his birth. He was born in immediate line to both the throne of England and the Netherlands. His mother was Princess Mary, daughter of Charles I of England. Trouble ensued immediately over the name of William, or actually Willem. His mother wanted to name him after her brother, Charles II, but her mother-in-law insisted he be named for his father. The final determination of his guardianship was made by the Netherland Supreme Council and a decision was issued for rule by committee of William's grandmother and his uncle, Fredrick William, who was married to his aunt. Upon turning 21, William III was given the throne for a period of one year, but William III fought the decision and was given full sovereignty within the following year.
William III was largely ignored by his mother, who had been removed from the throne after William II's death. She divorced herself from the Netherland aristocracy, returning to England during much of young William's adolescence. He was still able to foster a relationship with his British relatives and actually married his first cousin, Princess Mary II.
William III would eventually run Mary II's father out of power and rule England and Ireland during their marriage. They became the first dual monarchy in British history in 1689, after the Glorious Revolution, as Mary ruled while William was away on a military campaign. He resumed principle sovereignty after returning. His reign in England was marked by continuous war and political problems.
William III was largely thought to be homosexual, though possibly because he and Queen Mary II never produced an immediate heir to the throne. Accusations began almost immediately because of his circle of male friends. After William III's eventual death, the throne was transferred to Sophia of Hanover to restrict a reprisal of James II's Catholic followers and relatives for reclamation. The Jacobites claimed that both William III and Queen Mary II had ascended out of line of succession.
Corruption also became blatant and rampant during William III's reign in England. Corruption was a trademark during his reign in the Netherlands and William III used the corruption in an attempt to bolster the monarchy. The same occurred in England as William III defended the throne. Bribery was common procedure throughout Parliament, just as it was in the Netherlands. The East India Company operated as a governmental monopoly across all trading centers.
Mary II died in 1694, shortly after William III founded the Bank of England, along with William Paterson. The bank was created for the perceived purpose of handling the government's financial affairs, but was instrumental in what became the American Revolution, establishing a colonial rival to England. The controlling central bank is still in existence today and is the business model for the Federal Reserve System in the United States.
William III died in 1702 from pneumonia, after being injured in a riding accident.