History's Women: Miscellaneous Articles: Mary II., Queen of England, Wife and Co-Regent of William III.Mary II., Queen of England
Wife and Co-Regent of William III.
1662 – 1694 A.D.

Mary II. was born at St. James Palace, Westminster, April 30, 1662. She was the daughter of James II. by Anne Hyde, his first wife. She married, November 4, 1677, at the age of fifteen, William, Prince of Orange, and sailed for two weeks after to the Hague. Here she lived till February 12, 1689, when accepting a solemn invitation from the states of England and she followed her husband the London.

The throne was declared vacant by the flight of James II., and William and Mary were crowned as next heirs April 11, 1689. Though Mary was declared joint possessor of the throne with her husband, yet the administration of the government was left entirely up to him. This arrangement cost Mary no sacrifice, but was in strict accord with her desire. “There is but one command which I wish for him to obey,” she said, “and that is, ‘Husband, love your wives.’ For myself, I shall follow the injunction, ‘Wives, be obedient to your husbands in all things.'”

She kept the promise voluntarily made, and all her efforts were directed to promote her husband’s happiness, and make him beloved by the English people. He had great confidence in her abilities, and when, during his absence in Ireland and on the continent, she was left the regent of the kingdom, she managed parties at home with much prudence, and governed with a discretion not inferior to his own.

Queen Mary was strongly attached to the Protestant religion and the Church of England, and was evidently led to consider its preservation a paramount duty, even when she lived with her sister, afterward Queen Anne, often been alluded to a as a blemish on her character. But political jealousies, and the foolish attachment to Anne was overbearing favorites, may sufficiently account for this rupture. Aside from this, Mary was, in truth, an amiable an excellent queen, and by her example made industry and domestic virtue fashionable. She died of smallpox, at Kensington, in the year 1694.


Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World. Designed and Arranged by William C. King. Published in 1900 by The King-Richardson Co. Copyright 1903 The King-Richardson Co.