Page 10 - History 2020
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In this accidental and indirect way. the Act of Succession made monarchs subordinate

            to parliament. As Vallance says, “Ironically fetters were placed on upon the crown less
            as a means of protecting Parliament and the public from the threat of Catholic Stuart
            absolutism than as a defence against the likely succession to the throne of more
            foreign Protestant princelings. The 1701 Act of Settlement, with its limitations upon
            royal powers of appointment and royal power to wage war independently, effectively
            ended the threat of royal tyranny.”

            We can see from this example why our unwritten constitution can be so hard to

            decipher.

                   6.  Did people warm to William and Mary?
            Mary, yes, William no. Vallance comments on how he and the English regarded each
                                                                                  th
            other on his arrival in 1688 (appropriately on November the 5 !): William “was a
            shortish man with long auburn hair, a hooked nose* and black teeth, but it was his
            accent that locals sniggered at. In return, William's secretary was amused to see

            everyone smoking: even a baby, he noted, swapped the teat for a pipe.” One story
            was that when some Brixham people asked him what he was doing there, he replied
            in his strong Dutch accent, “Mine goot people, mine goot people, I am only come for
            your goots, for all your goots.” To which a local wit replied, “Yes, and for our chattels
            too.” William failed to win much public affection; people admired his courage and
            grit in his war with Louis XIV, and his personal courage in battle, but he didn’t cut a
            very regal figure. He was four inches shorter than his wife Mary (a statuesque 5’11”).
            His long hair was impressive, but his back was hunched and his legs spindly. He’d

            survived smallpox but it left him with bad lungs. People found him reserved and
            taciturn, even frosty; he was no Charles II. The court was sober, and his Dutch
            advisers were resented. His marriage to Mary grew in affection and she showed him
            absolute loyalty over her father, motivated by her strong Anglican faith. Her natural
            grace and beauty won her the public’s affection and her obvious competence in
            running things during William’s many absences won her their respect. With her

            approval, he wielded the true power, but it was she they loved.

            *At least making him recognizable in profile on coins and medallions.

            William’s grief at Mary’s death was genuine. He died in 1702 of pneumonia after a

            fall while riding* in Hyde Park in which he broke his collar bone. There were few
            monuments to him.

            *His horse, Sorrel, had been confiscated from a Jacobite who had plotted against him. Sorrel
            stumbled on a mole-hill. Jubilant Jacobites long toasted “the little gentleman in the black
            waistcoat.”
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