James II and Personal Rule
· The first parliament called upon James’ ascension to the throne was very cooperative, and when Monmouth raised a rebellion in Dorset in 1685, he received very little support from the political nation. Monmouth was captured and beheaded on his uncle’s orders. This, historians say, demonstrates that power remained in the hands of the monarch.
James II in Decline
· Within three years, the strong position in which Charles had left the monarchy had disintegrated. James represented a threat to the protestant religion and the rule of law, and this ultimately resulted in his removal.
· James’ primary aim on his ascension to the throne was to secure religious toleration and legal equality for Catholics, and when parliament refused to cooperate his response was somewhat autocratic.
· In 1685 he issued personal dispensations to allow Catholics to become army officers. Edward Hales was challenged by Arthur Godden, his coachman, for holding a military command without having taken Anglican communion in 1686. When the case was brought to trial it was determined that only the king could decide whether…