King William III, Prince of Orange was born on November 4th 1650. He governed a number of Dutch Provinces as a Stadtholder and was involved in a number of religious wars with the French King Louis XIV. He was revered as a Protestant champion and was therefore called upon to take the English crown from the Roman Catholic King James II.
William landed at Torbay, Devon on November 5th 1688 at the invitation of prominent English Protestants. He brought with him 15000 soldiers and proclaimed “the liberties of England and the Protestant religion I will maintain”. Many Protestant noblemen immediately voiced their support for him and James realised that any resistance to him would be futile. He fled the country. Parliament declared William King and he was crowned on April 11th 1689.
A minority refused to acknowledge William as king and resisted his rule and Ireland continued to be ruled by Roman Catholics loyal to James. In 1689, French forces arrived in Ireland and although William sent an army progress was slow. In 1690 William decided to personally intervene and led his forces to a victory at the Battle of the Boyne.
After peace was established in Ireland, William continued to wage war in Europe against France with what was called the Grand Alliance before making peace in 1697.
William died in 1702, however the Royal line has continued to be Protestant to this day.